Women in Tech 2019 – The Importance of Diversity and Digital Culture in The Workplace
The Women in Tech Conference recently took place at the Convention Centre in Dublin and I had the privilege of speaking at the event as well as attending some talks by incredible and inspiring female leaders currently working in Ireland’s tech industry.
At the event, I spoke about the workplace of the future and the importance of promoting a strong inclusive digital culture. A great example that showcases the future potential of workplace technology was recently unveiled by Julia White, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Azure, at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference in Las Vegas.
On stage at Inspire, wearing a HoloLens 2 headset, Julia generated a full-size hologram of herself translated simultaneously into Japanese and maintaining her speech cadence and patterns, using its Azure AI technologies and neural text-to-speech to make this possible.
Seeing this technology being unveiled by a female leader not only shows how quickly technology has advanced in recent years, but how far we have come in terms of diversity in the industry. It’s encouraging to see that the gap is closing in the tech industry, but diversity is still a challenge that the collective industry must address. In some businesses, we now have five generations of people in the work force, so managing this in an age of rapid technological change means looking at the digital culture within those organisations and how it manages a varied and diverse workforce.
In recent years, we have seen the move from cubicles and silos to collaborative workspaces. From desktops to connected mobile devices. From limited data to boundless information and insights. From rigid hierarchy to more flexibility, openness, and inclusion. From individual achievement to teamwork and shared success. The workplace is vastly different now than it was 10 years ago – this is especially true for the tech industry.
Companies that are making advancements in the modern workplace and managing their digital culture well are seeing significant results. Research has shown that they’re also clearly outperforming their peers in the areas of revenue generation and growth, profitability, market share, productivity, customer experience, and speed to market.
These figures from Harvard Business Review really highlight the importance for companies to be forward thinking in their approach to everything they do, be that the technology they introduce for employees or the promotion of diverse teams of people working in collaboration. Numerous studies show that when a team is made-up of a diverse group of people – including various cultures, genders, ages, etc. – productivity, innovation, and empowerment soar.
With Generation Z now beginning to enter the workforce, I have no doubt that the momentum towards true gender equality will continue. Couple that with continual efforts to foster strong digital cultures, the future looks very bright indeed for the tech industry. The closer we get to a truly equal and inclusive industry, the closer we will get to seeing what we are all truly capable of achieving.