Make Tech Purple Initiative for Gender Parity in Tech Workforce
“As I looked over the contours of my career of 20+ years in Recruiting and managing recruiting teams, one aspect was a recurring theme. And that was how my female candidates lost out on roles to their male counterparts with similar qualifications and preparation. It deeply affected me and led me to dig deeper into the issue. In 2019, I dared to conjure up the vision of #MakeTechPurple, which is to provide equal opportunity to women and men in technology through the BayOne platform. It’s my pride and joy, and today we have moved the needle from 26% in 2019 to 46% in 2022 through relentless hard work and recruiting strategies. Thank you team BayOne for your hard work. We are MakingTechPurple.”
– Neha Malhotra, Head of Recruitment at BayOne Solutions
The tech world is riddled with the problem of gender disparity and underrepresentation in its workforce. Women and minorities are harrowingly underrepresented in the field, and lacking diversity reduces creativity and innovation.
#MakeTechPurple is about changing that. We want to make the industry more inclusive, so everyone can successfully contribute their unique perspectives and talents.
The burgeoning need for a gender-diverse tech workforce
Women are, unfortunately, still woefully underrepresented in the tech industry. While they represent 51% of the American workforce, women constitute a meager 28% of the tech workforce (Zippia). Moreover, according to Exploding Topics, representation of women in big tech fell by 2.1% last year with just 10.9% of leadership roles held by women.
Add to this the intersection of identities, including ethnicity, physical ability, race, and sexual identity, and the numbers continue to look bleak. Regarding wage gaps, Asian women received 5% less than the baseline wage, white women earned 8% less, Black women made 10% less, and Hispanic women earned 10% less (Zippia). When it comes to promotions, over 39% of women admit experiencing gender bias as a hindrance in their growth trajectory (Builtin).
The stark reality is, as an industry, there are miles to go before tech can call itself an equitable space for all genders. As Rahul Sharma, the co-founder of BayOne, observes, “There is a barrier. Recruiters have a bias towards male candidates in tech.”
Recounting his experience about the worrisome lack of access and appeal for tech roles among women, Rahul adds, “We consciously started talking to our customers and surprisingly, everybody felt the need for gender diversity in the workforce.”
The story behind #MakeTechPurple and what it stands for
BayOne embarked on its #MakeTechPurple journey in 2019, committed to increasing the percentage of women in the tech workforce. We chose purple as a mindful combination of the color red (representing women in tech) and the color blue (representing the historically male-dominated influence in the industry). The resulting color purple, which also symbolizes power, wisdom and creativity, is the ideal representation of this mission.
As Rahul observes, the inherent biases within the industry and the recruitment processes need an overhaul and careful examination. According to him, “We should include women in each step of the recruitment process, including interview panels.” He also emphasizes the importance of small, actionable steps to build gender parity.
At its core, the #MakeTechPurple initiative aims to make the industry more diverse and inclusive for everyone. A diverse workforce brings multidimensional perspectives and ideas that help drive innovation and creativity within teams. It also encourages a holistic approach to design and product development, considering the role of technology is to serve everyone equitably.
How BayOne commits to ensuring gender diversity
We implemented the #MakeTechPurple initiative across organizational levels to successfully achieve our gender-diversity goals. Here’s how:
- A neutral vetting process
A neutral vetting process considers an individual’s qualifications and experience without regard to gender. This ensures that everyone has a fair chance of being hired at BayOne, and that we are only hiring the best candidates for each role.
We committed to this process to ensure all candidates have equal access to job opportunities, regardless of their gender identity. This is a crucial step, given that blind applications can boost the likelihood of women getting hired by as much as 46% (Builtin).
- A diverse candidate pipeline using the “Rooney Rule”
Named after its creator Dan Rooney, the rule requires companies to interview at least two women for every open position.
This not only results in a more diverse pool of candidates but also sends a strong message that diversity is valued and prioritized within the organization. This simple step has been shown to increase the number of women hired and helps ensure that qualified women are not overlooked during the hiring process.
- Job descriptions that focus on must-haves
We also revamp job descriptions to focus on “must-haves” rather than “nice-to-haves.” The idea is that since women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don’t meet all of the listed requirements, by highlighting the must-haves, companies can encourage more women to apply.
- Hosting technical boot camps, workshops, and meetups focused on women in tech
These events serve as a growth-driven space for women to learn new skills, network with other women in tech, and feel supported in their professional journey. They help actively address the disadvantages/hurdles women face due to the historic bias within the industry.
- Bias reduction screening with clients
This helps identify areas where unconscious bias may influence an organization’s decision-making. By identifying and addressing these biases, we can help make the tech industry more equitable for everyone – one that successfully fosters a diverse workforce.
#MakeTechPurple – change begins at home!
Since the launch of this initiative, we’ve experienced tremendous success towards achieving a gender-diverse workforce at BayOne. The number of women hires in our team has increased from 29% to over 46% in the past four years!
As Rahul recounts, “We started with three technical boot camps that were focused on data science, and the results were amazing! 80% of the women who graduated from those cohorts found jobs in technology, many in data science.”
While these results have been phenomenal, the journey is long and ongoing. As an organization, we consistently strive to expand our definition of diversity and equity through actionable means. The #MakeTechPurple initiative is an instrumental step in this direction, serving as a catalyst for this much-needed positive change.
To learn more about #MakeTechPurple and how we continue to evolve our processes for a gender-diverse technology workforce, read more here.