Creating stronger networks for women in tech
March is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8th. It’s a time of the year when there are a lot of discussions about gender parity and diversity, particularly in the tech industry — where data shows that women are still underrepresented, underpaid and often discriminated against.
We still have a long way to go, and it’s in a business’s best interest to drive progress in this area. According to Gartner, employee performance in diverse organizations is 12% higher than employee performance in companies with no inclusivity efforts. Diversity and inclusivity also improve employee engagement, which in turn increases retention by 19% and collaboration by 57%.
In a special #WomenInTech Cloudspotting episode, Sai and Alex are joined by four members of the Professional Organization of Women Empowerment at Rackspace Technology (POWER) resource group. POWER is made up of a few hundred Rackspace Technology employees who are on a mission to make Rackspace Technology a company where women thrive and to empower women in their careers.
Tune in to hear about the following:
- Advice for women starting new roles and progressing in their career
- Maternity leave, returning to work and childcare
- Merging of work and life, and increasing acceptance of family duties
- Overcoming the culture of presenteeism
- Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce
Jo Glass, Director of Strategic Operations at Rackspace Technology, discusses the amazing women-in-tech community. “I think for any woman in tech, get online, there are so many inspirational women out there, there's so much literature out there. It's fantastic that it's such a commonly talked about topic now, which it wasn't historically. Think about what sort of roles you want to go for and then reach out to other women in tech and to women outside of tech for support. There are all these transferable skills that can be applied to tech, you don't have to be an engineering major. Think about what value you can bring into a business.”
Vanessa Thompson, Enterprise Customer Success Manager at Rackspace Technology, discusses returning to work after having a child and managing childcare. “It's about easing back in and figuring out how you balance the childcare demands and balance your work as well. Having a supportive partner is so important as well so that you share that responsibility. And if anything, I think COVID has helped maybe shine a little bit of a light on family setups and support systems which means we can be more open about our situation.”
Gavin Bounds, COO EMEA at Rackspace Technology & Chair at PurpleSpace, a networking hub for disabled employees, explains how COVID may have altered the culture of presenteeism, which held people back who couldn’t be in the office as much. “I'm hoping that when we start to kind of get back to whatever normal is, the culture of presenteeism, which I've observed in a number of organizations and is incredibly unhealthy, I'm hoping that will have changed for good. And it was definitely a concept that would disadvantage quite often women who had family obligations or reasons to be less present in the office.”