In a world where we become more and more globalized, the need for diversity becomes increasingly important. We need to make decisions based on backgrounds and perspectives different from our own, and we need to be able to think about what the future brings in a more rapid way than ever before. The digital transformation is forcing its way through every country and every organization. It’s not driven by the tech companies or the software vendors, but by user needs and user experiences.
The IT industry has long been a male dominated environment, but more companies have seen the need for an increasingly gender balanced (and age- and culture balanced) workforce, not only in leadership positions, but in technology architect and programming roles as well. This is because users are both men and women, so the software and products in general need to reflect that. Even though all crash test dummies are still male only, and most phones are made to fit perfectly into a man’s hand, the world is slowly shifting towards a more gender-neutral design.
To fit this urge in digital transformation, the focus on gender balance in the IT-industry has increased intensely, and many companies are leading the way in attracting, hiring and promoting more women.
It’s a good thing then, that most men understand why gender balance is so important and are a big and important part of the process. Increasing women’s share in the leadership team or in the IT-industry does not mean that we don’t want or still need men – it just means we need a more equal number of men and women.
Having a good gender balance in a company make a difference; in daily social interactions, productivity, ideas, and creativity, which in turn influence sales, results, and performance. This is what most companies ultimately want.
When I worked for H&M in Oslo in the mid-nineties, we were all women at our location. Until one day we got one male colleague. That changed the atmosphere so much that we sought to get another man, and when he came aboard the dynamic shifted. Together, we came up with things we never thought about before, contributed to a better workplace, and made our store increase its revenue by 50% in two years. Coincidence? I think not.
That is why we need more men in female dominated industries, and we need more women in male dominated industries. We balance each other out – and we make each other better. I happen to work in a male dominated industry, so naturally I am now focusing to employ more women.
Fortunately, I am surrounded by the greatest men – men who see that our work culture thrives with diversity, who embrace the gender balance and support our search for more women in every part of the organization. My friends, my family, my former colleagues, all the amazing men that I meet in all industries, and most of all my current FotoWare colleagues.
Thank You for being great contributors to this exciting journey.