Women in technology are powerful figures. However, they are in the minority, which makes it difficult for them to develop their talent and collaborate with others. To address the concerns of these particular workers, managers must acknowledge the substantial gaps between women in tech and other employees.
According to a report by Catalyst, a nonprofit organizationsupporting women's career development, there are two major dissatisfactions women in tech have.
Supervisory relationships: Having productive and supportive supervisors is critical, especially when wanting to retain qualified, hard-working women. However, women in tech were less satisfied with their supervisors than any other subgroup of employees when it came to feedback, communication and availability when needed. They were also less likely say that their managers were receptive to suggestions and responsive enough to take action.
Fairness and voice: Mistrust and unfairness are major concerns, especially on a professional level. Having the opportunity to have a voice and be heard is crucial to a company's success as a whole. Still, only 49 percent of women in technical roles found management decisions to be "fair"; and only 54 percent of technical women found that management trusted their employees' judgment ― less than that of any other role. Additionally, just 59 percent of technical women said their job was evaluated fairly, and 58 percent felt it was safe to speak up in their companies.
So what can managers do to meet the needs of their female workers? [See Related Story: Career Resources for Women in STEM]
The Catalyst report says one way companies can address the gender gap is by enhancing supervisory training. That way, employers will have more knowledge about how to communicate and strengthen relationships between them and their employees, regardless of gender.
Training for employees is beneficial to their success, too.
"Making a commitment to help new employees with support, mentorship and training during their first six to 12 months on the job will pay off with a more productive and loyal employee," said Steven Ostrowski, director of corporate communications at CompTIA, a nonprofit IT trade association.
Ostrowski also said that a diverse company can use existing employees as role models. By encouraging and supporting females in tech, companies can become more successful as a whole.
"If everyone within an organization has a similar background – racial, gender, education, etc. – how can they identify with and serve others who don't fit into those categories?" he said. "Beyond simply filling job openings, having a more diverse workforce creates a more diverse culture within the company. That's good for business."