Silicon Valley has been through a lot lately with startup founders aiming big, failing fast and starting again. We get to see all. One of the biggest failures in this rat race is that we have failed women. Yes, there are fewer women in the tech landscape compared to men. In fact, this gender bias has long been a hot debate among industry experts and tech pundits.
It’s time we pay it back! Understand the fact that women not only contribute to half the populace on the planet, but also drive 70-80% of consumer purchases. This is the reason women can’t be overlooked when it comes imagining and building new products.
Also, recruiting women as an integral part of team is not only important for gender equality or to curb discrimination among the fairer sex, but is also important for the success of a startup. This is particularly true during those early stages of your startup.
Here’s what women can bring to the table for a startup helping it to stay ahead of the curve:
1. Women are more attentive and meticulous
You might have come across some fun fact stating that women speak three times more than men do. Whilst this has been a topic of debate since quite a long, we certainly can’t neglect the fact that women are more verbal than men. Yes, women often are more evocative and expressive. They like to delve into the context of every scenario and ensure to get into the story before passing out any judgement or finalising any decision.
Now for a startup, this can be a huge asset. Women being more attentive simply means that they can nail it when it comes to attention to detail ensuring that everything falls in place. Startup founders often are visionaries with humongous goals in sight. Therefore, hiring the fairer sex is a boon for such startup founders. Long story cut short, women are more of a perfectionist!
2. Women are more thoughtful and empathetic
Yes, though stereotypic it may sound, women are more empathetic. Not to forget, they are good listeners for they are highly patience and are broadminded than their male counterparts. Interestingly, women have an inherent cool yet natural prowess of understanding what the user wants and how he/she feels when using a service or product. Call it a hidden superpower!
Further, women are excellent when it comes to taking interviews, conducting feedback sessions, garnering ideas and processing them into realistic requirements and goals. Adding to that, they are good at designing wireframes, prioritising tasks and communicating your their needs to fellow teammates.
They can make for fantastic product managers or visualisers for a startup. Now in today’s world where everyone is aiming to create products that are problem-solvers, what better person can it be than a woman to do this job.
3. Pick them for the right roles
Pay heed to where you are recruiting women. For instance, if it is for some junior role in operations, sales and marketing, then there’s a cache. Pick women for leadership roles particularly the ones that are male-dominated. Be deliberate about your hiring choices and it shall pay off in the long run as your startup evolves. Now this doesn’t mean that you ought to sacrifice talent out there; it simply means that you ought to work diligently to find talent and diversity.
What can be better than an online recruitment system to get the job done here? Yes, data-driven recruitment is the new normal, since everything is boiled down to stats/numbers and numbers means ‘data’.
4. Nurture cultural values
If you fail at nurturing a workplace culture that reflects diversity, you are simply losing out. Make it crisp clear to every new recruit that your startup values gender and racial diversity in order to comb out the ones who disagree with you. Make sure that your onboarding process and/or training management system reflects these principles.
5. Take cues from successful startups
Get inspired from successful companies that were once startups. However, this doesn’t mean that everything a successful grown startup does is beyond criticism. Other startups though may not have tasted huge success in terms of growth or revenue, but may be amazingly successful when it comes to employee satisfaction, women empowerment, diversity, gender equality, retention, etc.
So rather taking a single company as the only role model, a startup can look up to several companies to use as a roadmap to success. Remember, you don’t have to be exclusive to disrupt the market.
This article was first published on e27, on July 31, 2018.
About the author: Anwar Shaikh writes about startups, AI, human resources and all things enterprise technology. A self-made writer, Anwar writes for Pocket HRMS, a leading provider of cloud based HRMS and recruitment software to small and mid-sized businesses/startups across India.
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