Women in Tech Event Key Tips and Takeaways

On May 16th our Eastside event attendees had the pleasure of listening to four speakers in our “Women in Tech” series. The lineup included Tammarrian Rogers from ADA Academy, Martha Burwell of Catalyze Seattle, Cheryl Ingram of Diverse City, and Lori Dey of Ebay’s eWIT Program.

I am so grateful to these women for participating in the event, and presenting a range of eye-opening information about the power of inclusivity. A lot of great content was covered at the event. Here are just a few of the tips and takeaways of the current women in tech pulse that can help you in your efforts to boost inclusion at your company:

  • A McKinsey report based on data from 366 companies revealed a significant connection between diversity and financial performance. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have financial returns that were above their national industry median, and companies in the top quartile for racial/ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median. The U.S. dataset showed no statistically significant correlation between gender diversity and performance until women constituted at least 22 percent of a senior executive team.
  • Forbes Insights revealed that senior executives are recognizing that a diverse set of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds is crucial to innovation and the development of new ideas.
  • There is still a wage gap. On average, Caucasians in startups earn at least $15,000 more per year than people of color in startups. Men earn at least 10 percent more than women.
  • There is still a leadership gap. The percentage of women in top leadership positions is roughly half the percentage of women in entry-level positions—even though women are older, more highly educated, and have more work experience than men in Seattle startups on average.
  • Mentorship access is vital. A strong network, especially mentors and advocates, is arguably the most important resource for startups. Men in Seattle have nearly twice the access to this resource.
  • The “Female Founder” effect is real. Startups with more female founders had more diverse staff down the road, which we know is linked to business success. So investing in startups with female founders makes both ethical and business sense.
  • Parents are 40 percent more likely to work for a startup if it has at least 25 percent women on the founding team.
  • If a startup has more than 50 percent female founders, women are 10x more likely to work there than men, and people of color are 2x more likely to work there than Caucasians.

This was the second Women in Tech event hosted in Bellevue, following closely on the heels of two similar events held in Seattle. In addition to this Women in Tech series, New Tech Northwest also hosts annual Diversity in Tech events in both Seattle and Bellevue, where we provide an opportunity to discuss and work toward a more inclusive and diverse tech industry. Watch for these events coming in the fall.

Just to hammer this point home, a very timely Geekwire article by Monica Nickelsburg was published on Tuesday showing that the Seattle region actually has one of the biggest gender wage gaps in the U.S., with women earning 78.6 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. This is the third largest gap among the top 20 U.S. cities. Luckily, diversity and inclusion conversations and actions to improve growing all the time in our community. We can and will do better.

You can find many more helpful resources on the Women and Girls in Tech page on our site.

Thank you all for contributing to our active community!

P.S. Check out this article in Engine today profiling our stellar startup ecosystem “#StartupsEverywhere: Brett Greene & Red Russak

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