By Sheryl Simmons, Chief Human Resources Officer
The gender gap in the tech world is no secret. It’s been around for a long time and it’s getting worse. In 1991, the rate of women in tech roles peaked at an underwhelming 36 percent and has since been on the decline with women in 2016 only holding 25 percent of tech jobs.
The secret to narrowing the gap.
At Maestro Health™, we don’t have a deliberate diversity program. And yet, we don’t experience the significant gender gap like so many other companies in the tech space. Why? Because we focus on finding and hiring the best talent. Period. And an amazing percentage of that talent is female. Gender, race, religion, sexual orientation – none of it matters here. If you have rock star-level talent, we want you on our team regardless of what bathroom door you choose.
Show. Don’t tell.
Of course, it’s easy to say you only hire based on talent. Most companies would say they also practice this. However, if you look at who’s sitting around the leadership tables at some of these companies, it’s rare to come across a woman’s face. In fact, only 11 percent of the executive positions at Silicon Valley companies are held by women.
At Maestro Health, we have women in a myriad of leadership positions – and no, it’s not a few token positions. We have women chief officers, presidents, vice presidents, directors, managers, leads – the whole gamut. And not because they’re women. It’s because they’re the best talent for the position.
“Women are viewed as equals and as with every other Maestronite, their leadership skills are highly valued.”
– Misty-lyn Wogstad
Vice President of Technology Operations
We are so heavily embedded in a myriad of facets within the tech industry that all employees are encouraged, regardless of gender, to continue growing personally and professionally. If you’re hired for one tech role, but end up having a knack in another area – you’re encouraged to explore that. Again, we don’t care about the package, we care about the person.
“At Maestro Health, there’s a sense of respect among employees. They’ve been fully supportive of my career with mentorship, creative work opportunities and recognition. I’m proud to be part of the team.”
– Laura Quintero
The fact that a gender gap exists in any industry, let alone an industry that is meant to be innovative, is detrimental. The tech world is desperate for top talent. Strategic business leaders must understand that in order to compete for the top talent of today and tomorrow, gender has to be a non-issue. You must focus on what counts – for us it’s talent, integrity, innovation and character. Picking your talent based on gender is like choosing your coffee based on the mug. Think about it.
By the way, if you’re reading this and think you’ve got rock star-level talent – we’re always looking for talent.
Check out more of Sheryl’s commentary featured in Entrepreneur.