Between demanding roles at global tech companies and the societal acknowledgment that parenting amounts to the equivalent of approximately two and a half full-time jobs, work/life balance is a blurry line that many tiptoe along every day.
If we want to build a more equitable global tech culture, we need to begin to implement strategies aimed at diversifying talent and understanding how vastly different lived experiences influence our working environments.
Talent Attracts Talent
There’s been a focus on hiring more women in tech for years. Yet, when women make it to the interview, they face a panel of people who don’t look like them. This will continue to be the norm until we understand the intercultural dynamics between our experiences with gender.
To address these barriers and create an equitable, positive company culture, companies need to understand that people do not want to join teams they feel they don’t fit within. The talent recruiting team needs to reflect the culture the company is attempting to build during the interview process to find people who will also enhance that culture.
Training is Essential
To feel comfortable at a company, new hires and those who get promoted need a proper orientation and good training. This may seem obvious, but when people are promoted, they may feel overwhelmed and unprepared. They may face situations they are unsure how to handle. A solid onboarding process and refreshers can drastically improve these situations and overall retention. Listen to your people and their concerns about their orientation and training process, and always aim to improve.
Going the extra mile takes additional work and education, but creating a culture where people actively listen and actionably follow up on needs is essential to quality training and leadership development across all levels. Personally, I’ve recently experienced a great example of comprehensive training as I’ve received the best onboarding experience of my career that encompassed a leadership support system actively listens to my needs, and people go out of their way to make themselves available to help.
The Power of Valuing Others
Businesses go to extraordinary lengths to make their clients happy. However, tech companies aren’t necessarily selling products—they’re selling solutions, and people drive those solutions. Our people are our assets, and as managers, we need to work extraordinarily hard to ensure they have the best experience possible every day at work.
One of the most significant parts of feeling valued at your workplace is knowing that you are free to offer suggestions, feedback, and constructive criticism when necessary. Having a space where you know you can have healthy conversations that will ultimately better your relationships with coworkers and produce better products opens the floor to everybody feeling included within a company.
Listen and Take Action
It might seem evident that leaders should care about their people, but sadly, this is not always the case. Some leaders have not been trained to engage actively with teams and may not recognize that emotional intelligence is just as important as intellectual know-how. Those without emotional intelligence can be absolute culture killers if they are in place for too long. Evaluate the gaps in your company that create space for these cultural misalignments and collaborate with your talent to remedy them.
Culture and care need to be more than words on your list of values to attract diverse talent. These ideas need actionable support and open ears as we work toward building a more equitable tech industry.