ChannelLife India - Industry insider news for technology resellers
Story image
IWD 2024: How and why tech companies should help women reach the c-suite
Fri, 8th Mar 2024

A recent Tech Nation report on diversity in UK tech companies suggests only 26% of the tech workforce are women. The report also revealed 77% of tech director roles are filled by men. Statistics like this should not only make us question how we encourage more women to enter the tech sector, but how to attract women into leadership positions.

I am speaking as one of the lucky few women holding a c-suite role in the tech industry. PXP Financial is an international omnichannel payments business with teams across six locations, and some of the biggest names in gaming and retail among its clients.

Having worked with the business for many years, today I am its chief operating officer. My focus is on building long-lasting customer relationships. I love my job and the challenges it brings and am proud of the sustainable solutions I have implemented over the years.

Although the company has evolved during my time there, its basic principles are the same now as they were when it started. PXP’s ethos of curiosity and problem-solving have always allowed me to come up with ideas and identify areas for improvement. PXP is also all about progression, and this is reflected in the workforce. There are many women in crucial roles, and they never have to worry about being given a fair chance. 

Strategies to maximise inclusion and equality

Promoting gender equality and supporting the professional progress of women in the workplace requires a comprehensive and intentional approach, and there are many practical steps businesses can take to redress gender imbalance.

This starts at the hiring stage. Ensure there are equal opportunities for hiring, promotion, pay (aka salary) and advancement, and consider implementing a blind recruitment process to minimise bias.

From there, identify ongoing opportunities for training and development. You may be able to provide targeted training and mentorship programs for women or encourage women to participate in leadership development programs.

I also think it’s so important for businesses to set a good example by having diverse leadership. Promoting diversity in leadership roles and decision-making positions shows female staff that opportunities for progression exist for them.

Something that I have personally benefitted from is a company that supports career breaks. This is particularly important for mothers; I have two children and thankfully never worried that I would be treated differently for taking maternity leave. 

Finally, and it should go without saying, all businesses should have zero tolerance for discrimination. By establishing and enforcing policies against all forms of discrimination, including gender-based discrimination and harassment, you create a safe and inclusive work environment.

These steps will help foster an inclusive company culture where diverse perspectives are valued and women as well as men can thrive. 

How everyone benefits from inclusive policies

Creating a level playing field for women is not only the right thing to do, but it can also boost the performance and profitability of a business.

According to a report by McKinsey, companies with greater gender diversity at the executive level are 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability compared to those with lower gender diversity. Furthermore, the report found that advancing gender equality could add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025.

By implementing the strategies I have outlined, companies can create a more inclusive and supportive environment that fosters the professional growth and advancement of women in the workplace.

My advice to women looking for that advancement is to be confident in yourself. It won’t all work out as you would like it to, but that’s OK. If you’re convinced you’re doing the right thing, fight for it. Have a clear idea of what you want to do and work towards it. 

All businesses should strive to create an environment where everyone feels inspired and included. This will in turn empower women and men to aim high, and ultimately, everyone will benefit.