A bit of female company?
A CEO in the software industry based out of the US recently asked us for help in finding two VPs......one for EMEA and one for APAC.
On his initial call to me, he said something that I'm definitely not use to hearing, "Natalie, I'd really like to find a woman to do at least one of these roles."
When I asked why, he told me that it is his belief that any female doing well in this industry and at this level will have had to work 3 times harder than a man to get into the same position, (and the ladies I did put forward couldn't agree more :-).
Whether you agree with this view or not, there's no getting away from the fact that women in the software industry make up for a small percentage of senior execs.....under 10%.
One theory for the lack of women in top software vendor roles is that they're overlooked when promotional opportunities arrive.
The number of women in director roles within the software industry has remained stable as women aren't being promoted and given positions of responsibility in line with the proportion of women at more junior levels in the industry. As well as this, the number of women entering the software industry has been declining in recent years.
Perhaps it's a catch twenty two situation, when faced with a seeming reservation within the industry to promote women. Could it be that fewer women choose to take on the tough climb up the corporate ladder or choose to enter the software industry at all?
So what's the answer?
Software vendors need to make sure that they have the right processes for promotion and recruitment which mean that they don't have bias. Having balanced promotion and interview panels, as well as employing the 'Rooney Rule' - a concept from American football, where a panel interviews at least one minority candidate for senior roles - can help with this.
Something to think about.
Until next time,