How women in technology can revolutionize app development

By Jasmine Henry

Side view of female computer programmer looking away while using laptop at desk in office for app development
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As executives consider ways to build successful mobile development teams, it’s important to ensure diversity. App development can benefit significantly from the inclusion of women in technology, as well as individuals from all backgrounds, ethnicities and races. Empowering female employees to excel in tech leadership roles can yield more transformative mobile development results.

While women are absent from board leadership roles at nearly one-third of global firms, according to EY research, 30 percent female leadership can add 6 percentage points to profitability within the organization. Highly gender-diverse technology companies outperform their peers by 5.4 percent compared to just 1 to 2 percent in other industries, Morgan Stanley reports.

Women in technology matter more than margins

While research has established a strong link between diversity and profitability, taking a deeper look at this correlation holds clues as to why. A Harvard Business Review article declared that diverse teams are smarter; it concluded that working with people different from you may challenge your brain to focus on facts, process information more carefully and think creatively.

While there’s a strong fiscal argument for gender diversity, there’s also evidence that mobile technology teams need women for results. Forbes has found 86 percent of global leaders strongly or somewhat agree that a diverse workforce is crucial for innovation. Study authors and respondents agree that varied voices have a wide range of experiences, and this can help generate new ideas about products.

Removing barriers to women leading STEM

Initiatives to encourage women to pursue careers in mobility and other STEM fields have not changed the fact that technology is still 80 percent male dominated. Former Verizon CIO Judith Spitz tells Entrepreneur that female representation in the tech field has decreased over the past 20 years. Despite the fact that women are finishing college at historic rates, just 1 percent graduate with technology-related degrees compared to 6 percent of men.

To include women on mobile development teams, executives must consider the technology skills gap, but barriers limit skilled female technologists from participation. A 2017 ISACA survey of global women in technology found “much work remains to be done” to create a gender-inclusive workforce. The most commonly reported barriers to participation include:

  • Lack of mentors (48 percent)
  • Lack of female role models (42 percent)
  • Gender bias in the workplace (39 percent)
  • Unequal growth opportunities compared to men (36 percent)
  • Unequal pay for the same skills (35 percent)

“When bias is seen for what it is, it can start to be dispelled,” writes Megan McCardle in Bloomberg. Global organizations that have taken meaningful steps to close the tech gender gap have identified bias. More importantly, they address it actively by openly encouraging women to pursue technology and removing barriers to mentors, career development, childcare and participation with limited tech backgrounds.

Immediate steps toward to gender diversity

The mobile tech shortage has contributed to growing app development backlogs at over one-third of organizations. While women pursuing tech careers within the organization may lack a background in coding, executives can still have women fill mobile talent gaps by:

  • Including women in diverse teams for solutions hacking and concept design
  • Fostering gender diversity by encouraging women to apply for UX and UI design roles
  • Providing immediate paths to development participation with no-code and low-code app development platforms
  • Empowering female leadership by supporting women’s interest in project management and business analyst roles

Support for tomorrow’s women in technology

Taking immediate steps to fill mobile talent gaps within your organization with women can create more diverse, innovative teams and remove the representation barriers for tomorrow’s workforce. When coupled with visible gender-diversity initiatives and external efforts to support female STEM participation, executives can support the crucial role of women in technology.

Written By

Jasmine Henry

Jasmine E. Henry, MS

Jasmine is a commentator on emerging technology and freelance writer in the greater Seattle area. With a professional background in analytics, big data, mobility, and security that spans both the for-profit and government sectors, her professional interests include artificial intelligence…

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