To create real workplace diversity and equality, dialogues and champions are key, said panelists at the Women’s Tech Council Talent Innovation Summit Tuesday.
While there are many reasons for companies to strive for diversity in the workplace, one is something that virtually every business is always working towards: the bottom line.
“We don’t think about gender because it’s gender—we think about gender in terms of teams,” said Cydni Tetro, co-founder and executive director of the Women’s Tech Council. “There are massive numbers of studies that will tell you teams perform better financially when they have women on that, and they’ve tracked that for many years.”
The Women’s Tech Council has been working to deepen the research and knowledge base on the need for gender diversity in the workplace through collecting data on economic surveys, and publish case studies in partnership with the University of Utah. The group is also outlining benchmarks of what strides it would like to see implemented, as well as driving the adoption of inclusion as a component of culture.
However, looking at diversity as an issue to that needs to only appear solved—having a token female executive, for example—is going about it the wrong way, said Julie Simmons, vice president of education for the Women’s Tech Council.
“If diversity issues are thought of as a standalone rather than a culture issue, we know there’s a problem. It can’t be women verses men—it has to be inclusive,” she said.
Denise Leleux, a member of the group’s advisory board, agreed, and said the group has been working with companies that have shown strong examples of promoting a company culture that supports diversity.
“Inclusion should be the program, and diversity should be the result,” she said.
By Lisa Christensen, Utah Business