Why it’s important to hire more women in techIt’s kind of simple: you’ll build a better product. I don’t think it’s ever helpful to your culture, or to your output, to have a homogeneous workforce –
in tech. When you’re building a product, you want it to appeal to as many people as possible. But if you only have one subset of a population selling a product, you risk limiting its usability and marketability. Often times, unconsciously or otherwise, hiring managers discriminate against female sales candidates. They perceive them as limited by familial responsibilities. Or less likely to travel for a prospect at the drop of a hat. Maybe even that women are neither technical nor aggressive enough. But that’s simply not true. Women bring unique strengths to this predominantly male industry, because they are talented at:
- Building consensus
- And forming long-term-business relationships
How we hired more women in tech salesHiring more women in tech begins and ends with a company’s leadership team.
The single most important way we hired more women was by having leadership — both male and female — that supported our goal to hire more women.Our VP of Global Sales, Rachel Bates and our CFO, Lacey Brandt are committed to sourcing, recruiting and nurturing female talent. Still, it wasn’t easy.
Recruiting women for tech sales is difficult because:
- The recruiting funnel is full of men.
- Talent Acquisition professionals, short on time, don’t prioritize sourcing or hiring women.
- Hiring managers place too much emphasis on the requirements in their job description.
- There is no buy-in from leadership to recruit more female talent.
Here’s what we did to overcome these issues:
- We deliberately sourced and interviewed women: I met with my hiring manager regularly to talk about strategy. We made hiring women in sales a real objective.
- We were willing to accept a slightly longer time-to-hire metric to recruit more women: We had to scale our account executive and sales development representatives teams quickly, yet we managed to keep them 50-50 male and female.
- We decided to home-grow female talent: We hired women who didn’t have the exact skill set, but, rather, transferrable skills a role required and chose to invest in them through on-the-job learning and coaching sessions.
- We put women in charge of our revenue goals: The leadership buy-in was a given. But, Workable remains the only place I have ever worked where two women influence the company’s revenue goals.