Lehi—It’s no secret that Utah, despite the overall health of the state’s economy, still has a long way to go in recruiting, retaining, promoting and fairly compensating women in many of its industries. Recent figures by Voice for Utah Children show that Utah only pays women 70 cents on the dollar (as opposed to the national average of 79.2 cents), which leaves $1.6 billion in personal income that would be added to Utah’s economy each year if Utah’s wage gap were no larger than the nation’s. The technology industry, despite—or perhaps, because of—its recent boom in the state, is hungrier than ever to attract female talent.
Now, initiatives like the ElevateHER challenge and groups like the Women Tech Council are doing what they can to promote women professionally in the state. In order to address and hopefully help solve some of these issues, the Women’s Tech Council put on its Talent Innovation Summit last week, including a panel specifically built on how to recruit and promote diversity in companies. The panelists included Jill Layfield, former CEO of Backcountry.com; Dianne Rivera, VP of talent acquisition at Goldman Sachs; Denise Leleux, VP of global services in North America and Europe for eBay and Alison Lutjemeier, senior manager at Adobe.
Through their recruitment efforts, Goldman Sachs, Adobe and eBay have all seen their diversity numbers increase. But that doesn’t happen by accident—unconscious biases, lack of awareness and reluctance to change mean that recruiters need to be strategic in how they up their diversity hire numbers.
By Adva Biton, Utah Business