While an honour to be invited, where are the men?
It was an honour to be invited to speak at the recent Girls in Tech conference, although like all events over the years I’ve been invited to where the dominant theme is about women, there are very few men in the room. Why does this matter? Because men need to engage, they need to understand the unique challenges women often face, and to become true allies on this journey, if we are to successfully overcome many of the great challenges of our time.
And so while engaging women in tech is essential for fostering diversity, inclusivity and innovation within a fast-moving industry, men also need to know why, to understand the opportunities to work together and the benefits for us all.
- Diverse perspectives: Women bring unique experiences, insights, and perspectives to the table. By increasing the involvement of women in tech, we foster more diverse and inclusive environments where different ideas and approaches are shared and discussed. Diversity of perspectives almost always leads to better problem-solving, innovation and results.
- Role models and inspiration: Seeing successful women in tech inspires other young women to pursue careers in the field. Showcasing female speakers and experts at conferences, provides aspiring women with role models they can look up to and learn from.
- Addressing bias and discrimination: The tech industry has historically been male-dominated, and women have faced significant bias and discrimination. Actively fostering an environment supporting women to enter tech businesses challenges the stereotypes and biases that exist. This contributes to creating a more inclusive and equitable tech community – and builds more valuable companies over the long term.
- Closing the gender gap: The underrepresentation of women in tech is a persistent problem. More women in tech at all levels, including senior leadership, helps bridge the gender gap and provides visibility and recognition, sending a message to the industry that women’s contributions are essential for a company’s growth and success.
While conferences are excellent platforms for networking and mentorship, having more men engage – who still hold most executive positions – allows for broader networking, builds valuable relationships and mentorship opportunities. All this is instrumental to fostering career growth and advancement for women in the tech industry.
So where are the men? We have much to benefit from working alongside each other. Rather than seeing the rise of women as as a threat, it is an opportunity to create a new normal whose time has come – and together build more successful companies that positively impact people and planet.
Jeremy Meltzer is Founder & CEO of i=Change
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