As women advance in technology, the change must continue

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A 2021 Pew Research Center Report noted that “from February 2020 to February 2021, 2.4 million women and 1.8 million men left the labor force”. Men returned to work at a higher rate than women, said Ellen McRaith, vice president of talent acquisition at CDW.

Women are also still facing a surge in the IT industry. According to Yule, a lower percentage of women in IT fields apply for promotions, and a higher percentage of men receive the promotions they apply for. Overall, women are also much more likely to take time away from their careers, especially to care for their families.

Recognize the value of diversity

While women face obvious challenges as they build their careers in tech, speakers at the Women in Tech event agreed that many organizations are learning the powerful benefits of a diverse workforce. “It offers more diversity of thought, more experience,” Yule said. “And the women will come forward and represent what our clientele looks like.”

Forum speakers touted the value of hybrid working in attracting a more diverse workforce. Supporting workers in remote locations and offices can be difficult, but many organizations won’t have a choice, said Kojo Mensah-Bonsu, CDW’s director of diversity and inclusion, who moderated the forum. . Employers who want to attract and retain top talent must find innovative ways to provide the flexible environment that the modern workforce demands.

“Innovations in hybrid working provide opportunities not only for the workforce as a whole, but especially for women and underrepresented communities. Through technology, we are redefining what an inclusive culture looks like,” said Rachel Barger, senior vice president of sales for the Americas at Cisco and Global Executive Sponsor of the Women of Cisco employee affinity group. “It is through the power of technology, our people and our culture that we will continue to make great strides in ensuring everyone’s perspectives are represented and have a voice.”

DISCOVER: Find out how a diverse workforce can make your organization more competitive.

The Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

Several speakers, including Lisa Lee, vice president of global culture and belonging to DoorDashand Theresa Vu, technical director of Praxis Laboratories, discussed the importance of employee mental health and the value of workplace efforts to provide support. “Burnout happens as a result of a lot of different things,” Lee said. “Even though awareness has increased, it’s still not enough.”

They said organizations can take the following steps to provide support:

  • Organize regular check-ups for work and mental health: Vu suggested turning individual meetings into open discussions where colleagues can share their experiences.
  • Eliminate unnecessary demands on workers: Managers should be mindful of meeting fatigue and avoid adding unnecessary meetings to employees’ schedules.
  • Support families: Organizational leaders need to understand the demands of their workers outside of work and offer flexible hours to accommodate families.

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