BBC News – Viewpoint: More women needed in technology
It’s great that women are buying more technology than ever before, but tech companies can’t sit back: they should be focusing their energy on getting the most out of this flourishing market.
That’s why every chief executive should be made aware of the following stat: tech companies with more women on their management teams have a 34% higher return on investment.
The reasons are obvious. Diversity is important in any industry, but is especially relevant when it comes to technology. Tech is the way that world talks to each other. People have never emailed, liked, commented, called, messaged and tweeted more than we are doing right now. And guess what? Half of all those people are women.
The days of gadgets being boys’ toys are dead as the dodo. The majority of tech products must be developed to appeal to as many people as possible, of either gender. For that, there can be no room for guesswork. Men and women must both be in the room.
It’s not that we believe women are better or more effective than men – they just simply provide a different point of view, something that is vital when bringing a new product to market.
Pink it, shrink it
Examples of getting it wrong are abundant: A common ‘for-the-ladies’ strategy is to take last year’s product, re-release it at a slightly lower-price point, slightly smaller and clad in pink plastic.
This pink it and shrink it approach represents typically shallow thinking about gender and usually only appeals to younger (lower income) women. Getting design right takes a lot more thought but yields bigger dividends.