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Hiring and Promoting Women in Tech: Your Company’s Secret to Success in a Saturated Market


Jun 26, 2018 - 3 min read

Want to make sure your training department gives your company an advantage in a competitive market? According to research, promoting the smart women that already work for you – and hiring more of them – is key to corporate growth.

Research released by the Peterson Institute of International Economics in 2016, which studied almost 22,000 publicly traded companies across 91 countries, revealed that “having women in the highest corporate offices is correlated with increased profitability…an increase in the share of women from zero to 30% would be associated with a 15% rise in profitability,” reported the New York Times.

In 2018, CNBC reported that a study of Fortune 500 companies by the University of Arizona discovered that “companies that have women in top management roles experience what we call ‘innovation intensity’ and produce more patents – by an average of 20% more than teams with male leaders.”

And successful tech companies are listening.

How Intel, Apple and Salesforce are Investing in Women in Tech

In 2015, CNET reported that “Intel has pledged $300 million toward building a more diverse workforce,” and the extra good news is that it tied “managers’ compensation to their progress in that area,” to ensure this indeed gets done.

Apple, on the other hand, decided to donate “$50 million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Center for Women and Information Technology to help swell the pipeline of qualified women and minorities,” added CNET.

In a 2018 interview, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CBS News that he didn’t expect to find a pay gap between his female and male employees, but agreed to an audit, and even committed to paying the difference before he knew what it was.

Turns out it was 3 million dollars.

The pay gap, Benioff told CBS News, was “just everywhere. It was through the whole company, every division, every department, every geography.”

But Benioff paid it off, leading more than 10% of Salesforce’s female employees to get a raise.

He said the team was so proud of itself, that it ran a second audit, and couldn’t believe they’d found a gender pay gap again. “It turned out we had bought about two dozen companies. And guess what? When you buy a company, you just don’t buy its technology, you don’t buy its culture, you also buy its pay practices,” he said.

So they fixed it again, paying another 3 million dollars, and committed to running additional audits more than once a year.

In addition, Benioff started noticing that he was having leadership meetings only with other men, and started making changes there, too. “I said to myself, ‘I am not gonna have any more meetings that aren’t at least a third women,'” he added in the interview.

According to CBS News, Benoiff also used Salesforce’s power to stand up for other minorities. “In 2015, he threatened to pull Salesforce investments from states that passed anti-gay or anti-transgender laws,” the site reported.

The Untapped Growth Opportunity Everybody Knows About, but Only Few Take Action

If the fact that gender diversity directly contributes to the bottom line has been common knowledge for so long, and technology leaders are taking action, how can it still be a competitive advantage – especially in the tech industry, which has always been innovative and stayed ahead of the curve?

That’s exactly the topic we’re covering in our latest e-book, The Proven, Untapped Gold Mine that Will Turn Your Training Department into a Competitive Corporate Advantage.

The e-book shows how rare the examples we covered above really are, even in tech, and offers:

  • 7 action steps every software training department can take to turn this untapped opportunity into a competitive advantage, and
  • What women themselves can do to claim a seat a table.