Technology is supposed to be about innovation. Yet when it comes to workplace diversity, the industry is surprisingly consistent and slow to change. When referring to women in tech, while pushes are being made in the field for increased representation, currently statistics make it hard to achieve. "According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), women represented a mere 15% of computer science bachelor’s degree recipients in 2014, despite the fact that significantly more women earn degrees than men. And in 2015, women held only 25% of all professional computing occupations.“
Support is a huge factor in the above numbers, with many potential female candidates not feeling positive about their prospects in STEM. According to the Center for Talent Innovation, although "76 percent of women in science, engineering, and technology (SET) consider themselves to be “very ambitious,” and 70 percent are eager to be promoted to the next job level….only one in four women in technical roles felt that their leadership aspirations were supported by their organization.”
Hire Tech Ladies is looking to change that. Beginning as a meetup for women in tech, the organization has grown into a 5,000 person “online community which facilitates companies to find the female talent they need. Several other similar companies have been born in recent years: Power to Fly, Women in Technology International, and more.”
But can Hire Tech Ladies truly change the hiring practices of the tech community? According to Allison Esposito, the organization’s founder, that’s not their focus. "We can’t solve all of those at Hire Tech Ladies,” Esposito explains, referring to workplaces that do not support women issues effectively such as sexual harassment and maternity leave situations, “but we can do a good job of featuring good companies that care about their culture.
By focusing on organizations that support or are looking to support women in STEM, Esposito is able to help women find the right job for them. In a time when retention is hard to come by, Esposito’s focus is deliberate and in my opinion a great change from most companies like her. In addition, Hire Tech Ladies also looks to aid in networking opportunities. Understanding the need of women in the tech community is helping Hire Tech Ladies separate and innovate within the industry.