Yellowfin's Director of People Strategy Simone Clancy reflects on her rich experience in the tech industry and shares her thoughts on why more diversity is critical, going forward.
I've been in the tech industry for almost 25 years. I joined by accident, but what a lucky mistake it has been; allowing me to embrace my inner geek. and have an amazing career.
What I’m surprised by is there aren't more women in the industry, especially when it has a lot to offer. It’s so dynamic, and the flexibility, job security and remuneration should make it really attractive to women.
Pervasive stereotypes, a lack of exposure to STEM and the fact that many tech courses remain male-dominated, create a barrier to entry and are a disincentive to women. This is changing, but it’s been reflected for us at Yellowfin when we're trying to recruit women - there's simply not enough there and we need to increase the size of the pipe.
We know that diversity of thought drives better outcomes and research indicates that companies that invest in diverse workforces outperform their peers by up to 21%.
It’s been our experience at Yellowfin that having a diversity of skills, experience and thought actually leads to better products and drives our innovation.
The rise of artificial intelligence means it’s crucial that we have more diversity in the people developing that code. Our society is increasingly globalized and connected and the code in products needs to reflect the communities that it's going to serve.
At the moment, a lot of white males are coding that technology and biases can - and will - start to creep in. In this way, the bias becomes a self-serving cycle and doesn’t necessarily reflect the broader community.
Aside from coding, having more diversity in technology means we’re able to leverage different skills and insights; we’re not in an echo chamber where everyone is like minded. For the people that already work in tech, there’s also a mirroring effect. If people see diversity they feel included, they feel supported, and then they become more committed, engaged and consequently, more productive. You can't be what you can't see.
Diversity really starts with the hiring process and the fostering of a diversity culture. You don’t want to replicate yourself with every hire so you have to address unconscious bias when you’re interviewing people. At Yellowfin, we have an education process with recruiting managers so they’re aware of their biases and more able to counter them.
Yellowfin has really good gender balance in a number of areas including customer success, marketing, product design and testing. This is something we can grow and leverage. But it’s not just about gender diversity, rather diversity at every level. Women are the easiest lever to pull because they’re easy to find and identify. We also need to consider cultural and linguistic and socioeconomic background, age and disability.
Tech is an enabler and it needs to reflect the communities it serves. At Yellowfin, we’ve been able to bring diversity into our organization, and I think that has been part of the key to our success and our development of innovative, industry-leading software.
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The tech industry is exciting and rewarding for women of all skills, education, interest and backgrounds - hear from some of the Yellowfin girls on why to consider a career today.