Case Study: How Three Tech Companies Put Action Behind DEI Goals
The Covid-19 pandemic brought into full view what has been broken for women in corporate America for a very long time. It also afforded business leaders an opportunity to have real conversations and brainstorm scalable solutions to create positive change for multitudes of women, not just the high-potential few.
Whether by rethinking child care benefits for working parents, rooting out bias, achieving pay equity or tossing the notion of corporate ladders, we are making progress. But as company leaders rethink how to bolster community and connection, one specific group keeps coming to the forefront of conversations as particularly at risk: women in tech roles.
Three technology companies recognized more was needed to retain women in their roles. Although from different industries – one is a global technology manufacturer, another develops software and the third is a leader in consumer tech products – all had large tech workforces.
All three corporations also recognized that if they did not do more to build community and engagement among their female employees, they were going to lose women across the talent pipeline. Talent they had worked so hard to find.
They began by understanding the biggest challenges for women in tech:
- A lack of female role models
- Lack of access to adequate training to succeed.
- The majority had male direct supervisors.
- Not believing their employers are committed to advancing women in tech roles.
- Limited networking opportunities.
Action 1: Build Communities & Peer Networks
Providing the time and tools to help women band together accelerates their success. Women are more likely to be higher performing at work with a tight-knit circle of supportive women they can trust and lean on for advice and input.
Using an innovative scalable tech platform, they built small-group communities across women in their organization to meet virtually during regular business hours to learn new skills, share experiences, celebrate accomplishments and give or seek advice.
Action 2: Guided Skill Growth
They provided virtual, expert-led training and support for women led by vetted executives to help grow their next generation of leaders.
Many companies offer training to develop skills, but to harness the power of those lessons and build leadership and communication skills, the human element must be the focus. The seamless combination of technology and human interaction is based on the way teams work and how women navigate the world.
Action 3: Focus on Belonging & Engagement
They focused on improving engagement and belonging by providing safe spaces for the women to learn, talk and seek advice on overcoming career obstacles, targeting their efforts on early and mid-career women.
The firms decided to target Aurora on these these groups since as professional women gain experience, their confidence levels fall by half, and 40% of women undersell their experience and capabilities at work, which can limit their potential for advancement.
The Impact was Remarkable
Their female employees in the Aurora program reported they felt more committed to their company, recognized that their company prioritized their development and saw their confidence and leadership skills improve.
- 97% felt more connected to a community of peers
- 94% increased confidence in ability to do their job
- 94% felt more empowered to advocate for themselves
- 97% felt their company was making their development a priority
Stop the Revolving Door of Female Talent in Tech
Retention is a $30 billion annual problem, with the estimated cost of losing an employee ranging from one-half to two times their annual salary.
By listening to the challenges faced by women and responding with solutions that address their needs head-on, we have a real shot at making a real difference.
We can go from shaking our heads at disappointing statistics to shaking things up for women in tech.
Let’s Shake Things Up
Learn more about Aurora and how to bring career opportunities, learnings, and community to help support and retain women in tech roles.