Less than 6% of software engineers identify as female, while barely 5% of technology leadership positions are held by women. As such, is it any wonder that 78% of us can’t name a single famous female computer scientist working in tech?
As CX professionals, we have a responsibility to ensure that our experiences are inclusive of everyone in society, regardless of their race, ability, or gender. With this need for “experience equality” in mind, this article will look at the importance of gender diversity in CX while making tech teams more diverse and inclusive.
Why does the tech industry need gender diversity in CX ?
The lack of inclusive representation in tech directly impacts our ability to provide customer experiences that meet individual needs. Research has repeatedly shown that men and women demand different experiences from customer service and from tech.
As one example, women are consistently more likely to value knowledgeable staff, whereas men are more likely to value timeliness from brands. And while these gender differences should not be used to make sweeping generalisations, they do remind us of the vital need for a none-male perspective.
In recent years, a growing number of companies have created spaces for female representation in CX. However, we also need to ensure that we have women from diverse cultures reflecting a wider range of customer types. Our leadership teams — global, regional, local, and craft – must be diverse in terms of both gender and ethnicity. To achieve these objectives, our workplace cultures must become more inclusive. With that in mind, here are three tips on how to make your CX teams more gender diverse.
1. Encourage applications from all skill levels
According to Forbes, women are more likely to only apply for positions that meet or exceed 100% of the listed job requirements. However, men tend to apply if they meet nearly half of them. While creating a team and hiring new talent, hiring managers must ensure that they pick candidates who deliver outstanding service, while also considering the gender differences in job hunting. Perhaps having a checklist of which requirements, they tick off can make a significant shift in the gender diversity of applicants.
2. Re-evaluate CX job listings
While it’s impossible to have a completely neutral job description, making sure that the tone is balanced, neutral and inclusive can help achieve a diverse workforce. The use of gender decoder software such as Ongig, Textio or TotalJobs can skim out subtle bias in word choices and update it with more neutral terms.
De-coding can lead to more diverse backgrounds, such as different ages, races, as well as differently-abled people to click apply on the job role. Tools like Develop Diverse are also a good way to review job posts and ensure they appeal to a broader audience.
3. Model a mindset shift to include gender diversity in CX
Even if we are aware and engaged in the work of inclusion, as CX professionals, we have a responsibility to emphasise the importance of creating experiences for everyone. Also, to demonstrate an eagerness to learn. We can, and should, set a tonal shift that moves from a defensive mindset to one in which we are willing to embrace self-reflection and challenge ourselves. Making a personal, as well as a business commitment, to bridging the differences across our workforce is essential.
In this setting, our efforts must focus on how we support and empower current women in tech while also exciting the next generation. I am personally proud to support Valtech’s tech_Girl initiative, helping to ensure that girls and young women receive experiences that excite their passion for tech.
These are the types of commitments that we should strive for, not just within our own companies, but across all the partners, suppliers, and technologies we choose to work with.
Therefore, let’s rethink how our roles and teams are structured, and how we, as CX professionals, can create experiences that truly work for everyone. And how to walk towards gender diversity in CX.