It’s no surprise that startup companies develop a tech clique among their workers. They created the idea, they worked long hours/days/months to bring the company to its current place. However, when it is time to expand and attract diverse talent it may be hard for others to break into the tech clique that has been formed.
So how do you break the bonds of your tech clique to attract and retain women in tech to your company?
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Wetzel. Sarah Wetzel is the Director of Human Resources at engage:BDR, a digital advertising company located in West Hollywood, CA. She has a diverse background across various industries to include scientific R&D, real estate, education, biotech, and currently technology.
Sarah Wetzel’s recent article, 6 tips for hiring and nurturing great female techies, she highlights 6 effective strategies to foster a culture filled with dynamic and diverse talent.
Her first tip speaks to the idea of welcoming new talent to a closely knit organization by focusing on performance.
Value performance over politics: A major barrier for women is often company culture. The optimal culture to keep females in technology is one where performance and competencies are valued over social ties and relationships. Evaluate your culture and subcultures. Are you intentionally determining your corporate culture, or are you leaving it to entropy? Culture change starts from the top. Executives should even the playing field for women by encouraging a culture deeply rooted in measurable performance. Establish metrics and KPIs to evaluate the success of the company, down to each employee. Communicate goals clearly, track progress, and hold employees accountable. Create a robust recognition program to celebrate employee success. This will foster an environment where performance, productivity, and creativity prevail over after-hour relationships and social ties.
In our interview, Susan talks about the value of creating a social environment so that workers get to know one another during the day rather than relying on after-hours social engagements.
In her company they have created a camaraderie within the entire team that is open to new talent – that environment fosters work time socializing to bring the team together. New hires immediately feel welcome and valued rather than excluded.
Check out the entire interview with Susan and her article with five additional tips that will help attract and retain women in tech to your company.