Gender balance in the workplace goes further than hiring. Holding onto a diverse workforce can be difficult. In the tech field, it becomes even more challenging. We are proud to have an employee base that far exceeds the national STEM average for female employees. However, as we continue to refine our culture and benefits, growing and retaining our diverse talent pool is a top priority.
After working at it for almost 15 years, we have 6 ways to create gender balance that we want to share on International Women’s Day.
1:1 Leadership and Peer Mentors
Each new employee is assigned a peer mentor. This individual doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same department as the new hire, just someone who is entrenched in our culture and can guide the new hire through their first few months. This is someone who can provide anything outside of the on-the-job needs. Although mentors are officially with the new hire for the first few months, these relationships last much longer. How does this relate to gender? Well, when your employees feel more connected and more comfortable, they’re more likely to stay, including the women in STEM. Further, every week, our managers meet one on one with each of their direct reports. During this time, they can talk about status and progress, about new ideas, about employee happiness, and anything an employee might need to continue being successful. With clear priorities, employees don’t feel the obligation to miss family time on behalf of non-critical issues.
Investing in our people is important to us at GadellNet. Last year, we invested over $3,000 per employee in training, certifications, conventions, and more towards our employees. We talk to each person, find out where they want their career to go, and find training that can help them get there. We allow them the time they need to complete trainings and certifications, as well. With quarterly training and development goals aligned by each individual, we’ve seen huge improvements across our entire team in skillset, pay, opportunities and more.
Technology to Promote Flexibility and Remote Work
Obviously, as a technology company – we do what we can to promote teamwork, collaboration and flexibility to our team. We use a couple of tools to make sure these flexible work arrangements are as productive as possible. Asana and 15five are two of these tools. Asana is a task manager and project tool and 15five is a planning tool where employees can give their top three priorities at the beginning of the week and let their manager know if they were able to complete these by the end of the week. This one on one time has strengthened the bonds between our managers and their direct reports and has allowed us to take care of any issues an employee has promptly. Further, through CLEAR metrics and clear expectations, workers can work anywhere and at any time -provided they hit their goals.
Technology to Promote Teamwork
Promoting teamwork isn’t the easiest when you have remote workers, separate offices, and a rapidly growing workforce. To make sure we promote a team-work filled environment, we have employed several different tools. We use Slack and Skype meetings to make sure all team members are accessible. We have started getting into Microsoft Teams, as well. This tool brings the people together with all of the resources they need. It’s a tool that’s really bridged the gap between offices and remote workers. Another way we promote teamwork is through happy hours. Some with families and some with just the team. Connecting on a more personal level helps to build trust and in turn, our employees work together better.
This is one of the biggest areas where we can find balance and it comes in many forms. We give our employees the flexibility to work when they need to and where they are most productive. Many employees work remotely, but to make sure they’re still connected we have metrics that allow us to track progress from anywhere. What does this look like? Employees are able to leave early to pick their kids up, or work from home when a repair person is coming to work on their furnace. We offer both maternity and paternity leave for our new parents. We want to give the dads just as much opportunity as the moms to spend that precious time with their family. We have PTO built in for our employees to volunteer so they don’t have to use any of the hours they might have otherwise used for vacation or family time.
Diversity in the workplace is important to GadellNet. In fact, last year we established a diversity committee. This committee was the brainchild of one of our employees and continues to be employee ran. Diversity ensures we are well-rounded and that the exchange of ideas doesn’t become stagnant. We focus on gender diversity, race diversity, age diversity, and diversity of personalities themselves through predictive index tests. What all of this comes back to is creating an environment where our employees feel comfortable, can trust one another, and are supported.