lunes, 2 de diciembre de 2019

What can we do to improve diversity? A report by WTM Málaga

It was a cold and rainy evening in November, so we really appreciated those who came to our meetup, instead of staying home drinking hot chocolate. After some introductions about the activities both WomenTechMakers and YesWeTech carry out, we spoke up about some of the common problems that minorities face at workplaces. Four topics were discussed, along with some facts and real stats. Let’s check them one by one:

How to make my work more visible?

Some facts that were introduced at this point: Impostor syndrome; women not applying to job offers if they do not match more than 60% of the requirements; the low percentage of women in leadership positions.

Maternity arose as a reason why many women are left apart from roles with more responsibility. We agreed that we should make more positive comments about the good ideas and the job done by minorities. Public recognition could help to overcome impostor syndrome.

Finally, minorities should improve their self-esteem and do not fear to ask for more

Why should I ask for a promotion/pay-rise?
There is a gender salary-gap that can be bigger or smaller depending on the country where you are working. This means that just because of your gender. you are going to receive less by doing the very same job.

As a possible solution to this problem, salaries should be public by companies, at least a range so employees can know if they are receiving what they are supposed to. When you are not transparent, you are hiding unfair situations and discrimination.

There are some organizations promoting salary-equality certification for companies. These initiatives should be supported by governments, and companies should be proud of receiving this certification.

How to create an LGTB-friendly work environment?

LGTB employees have a higher probability of suffering harassment and discrimination at workplaces. We need to be aware and make them feel welcome at our companies.

Besides, HR should have 0 tolerance with negative and toxic comments or behaviors. A Code of Conduct should be a requirement for all conferences and tech events.

Why women do not choose STEM careers and why they leave IT jobs?
Some states are showing a very little percentage of women considering engineering careers. And from those who graduate, 40% might abandon tech roles or not even ever work as engineers. We have two problems here to solve: attract more girls to STEM careers, but also keep women in tech careers. Some attendees shared why they chose engineering as their professional choice.

Besides, we discussed the toxicity of the IT environment in some countries (Silicon Valley), social media (Twitter) or some specific areas of expertise (Cybersecurity),

Attendees were invited to participate in the creation of the list

A list of actions was proposed at the end of the meetup; some of them have been highlighted as they were seen as cohesive proposals:
- Being more kind and positive with oneself
- Act when detecting toxic behaviors
- Respect others’ opinions
- Identify our value as professionals
- Request a code of conduct in conferences and HR
- Support union negotiations
- Be more connected.
- Execute actions every day
- No tolerance with discrimination or negative comments towards minorities
- Give value to minorities’ opinions
- Concentrate my efforts to recruit more women in IT
- Propose more positive comments about my female colleagues´ work
- Public salary ranges
- Blind CVs
- More parity
- Equality
- Take the opportunity to change the world
- Embrace diversity
- Create consciousness
- Union, build secure communities
- Report harassment
- Increase educational techniques to improve self-esteem in women
- Make young girls more interested in technology
- Be more organized
- Share experiences
- Support to women as a community
- Support initiatives that promote minorities at workplaces

To stay updated on woman-empowering tech events in Spain and be able to participate in, follow WTM_Malaga and YesWeTech_org on Twitter