Guest Column | June 2, 2016

From Charity To Parity: Changing The Conversation About Gender Diversity In IT

Cathy Alper, Community Director, CompTIA‘s Advancing Women in IT (AWIT) community

By Cathy Alper, Community Director, CompTIA‘s Advancing Women in IT (AWIT) community

So much of the discussion around gender diversity in IT is about how tech companies need to reverse the discrimination against women in hiring, compensation, and promotion. It’s championed as the socially responsible thing to do. And, it certainly is that, but evidence is mounting that it’s also the financially responsible thing to do for your IT company.

In short, the more gender diverse your firm, particularly at the leadership level, the greater its financial performance and here is some recent data to prove the point:

  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above the average in their national industry, according to diversity research published by McKinsey in 2015.
  • The Global leadership Forecast 2014-15 from Development Dimension International Inc. found that among the top 20 percent of financial performers 37 percent of their leaders were women while the among the bottom 20 percent only 19 percent of the leaders were women.
  • A study published in February 2016 by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that an increase in the percentage women in corporate leadership from none to 30 percent resulted in a 1 percent increase in net margin, which is a 15 percent boost in profitability for a typical organization.