Increasing gender equality in the workplace has becomes a priority for corporations around the world. Today, most companies are working to attract and retain more women in order to foster growth and efficiency and to ensure economic and social progress through innovation.
Organisations should embrace efforts to achieve gender equality and ensure equal rights and opportunities, especially in areas such as STEM where female professionals are historically underrepresented. Although closing the gender gap is a complex process, the importance of taking action is even more crucial now considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for a “She-recovery”.
On June 7-10, the WomenTech Network hosted the third edition of the Women in Tech Global Conference 2022, one of the largest hybrid tech global conferences dedicated to women in tech, minorities and their allies, bringing them together from all over the world to drive change and promote innovation.
The WomenTech Network, a community promoting gender diversity in tech, organised the conference to connect talents across the world with companies and start-ups that value diversity and inclusion.
Through trainings, keynotes, panels, workshops and networking sessions held both virtually and in-person, 100,000 women in tech from all over the world – from engineers and data scientists to designers, product managers and other tech-roles – had the opportunity to meet, network with each other and share insights into tech trends and the newest innovations.
The focus of this year’s conference was on Technology Leadership, Tech Innovation, Career Growth, and how to have an impact in the tech industry through the eyes of the world’s tech leaders and companies that consider diversity and gender equality a top priority.
But what does it mean for a tech company to consider gender equality a top priority?
According to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group titled Reinventing the Leadership Journey for Women in Tech, after the pandemic, companies need to take action in order to close the gender gap that characterises the industry, with a number of priorities:
• Provide new pathways to leadership – especially for those women whose career path differs from traditional trajectories. I am convinced that there is no “1 size fits all” model to grow personally and support the overall corporate growth, and that career paths should be increasingly tailor made to our talents, letting them be active players of their personal growth
• Support mentorship and sponsorship programmes, especially in a hybrid world. This is very important considering that, according to the report, 47% of minority women and 35% of white women said that in the post pandemic workplace “it became more difficult to connect with their mentor and sponsors”.
• Ensure flexibility and a work-life balance for all employees, particularly in a hybrid work reality. As the report indicates, in a new work-life ecosystem 44% of women spent more than 20 hours per week on caregiving duties (versus 33% of men). I recently exchanged views with Barbara Dalibard, the current Chairman of the Board of Michelin, and we agreed that women have the ability to manage both a successful career and their family, through some decision-making (we might not become a high ranking athlete in parallel!) and with an active support coming from the corporate world.
• Create a working model which ensures that everyone has equal voice and opportunities
Now more than ever women in tech face significant challenges – but we can drive change by acting together, valuing diversity and fostering inclusion. It is great to see that a global community like the WomenTech Network can connect people from all over the world and draw attention to the topic of gender diversity in tech companies.
At RGI, our aim is to transform not only the insurance market with our digital solutions, but also the IT insurance industry and the tech field in general in terms of inclusion and diversity. RGI Group offers an inclusive, welcoming environment to people from all walks of life and ensures that all RGI People have equal career opportunities and a good work-life balance. As of 2021, RGI Women represented over 31% of our workforce and 21% of our leadership. While these are currently good results in terms of inclusion within a tech company, we are committed to improving them even more in the future.