The hurdles that women in the tech industry face are not new and these just increasing from the entry-level stage as the numbers of women leaders become scant as one examines women in higher ranks. Silicon Valley tech companies report that only 11 percent of all its executives are women and barely any of them are women of color. From organizational cultures to internal bias within leaders, research has found that one of the reasons is that women who work in male-dominated industries like tech don’t have much access to leadership development programs like men in the same fields.
Women quit their jobs at a higher rate than men
Interestingly, 80 percent of women in tech report that they love their job; however, there is a higher attrition rate among women than men in this industry. As a result, women quit their jobs at a higher rate than men; 41 percent compared to 17 percent men.
Coaching can be really effecting in closing the gender gap in leadership
When a female employee is torn between continuing with her job or quitting, what do companies do to ensure that they stay rather than leave? Every working woman deserves to have her career improve just like her male counterpart in the workplace and now some companies have adopted the coaching method to invest in the future of their high-potential employees. Moreover, studies have proven that coaching can be incredibly effective in reducing the gender gap in leadership.
Coaching can be in-house or outsourced
So, what does coaching entail? A one-on-one relationship between a professional coach and an employee who is looking to achieve their goals, by gaining advice and requesting feedback, this can happen in-house or is outsourced by companies. Also, many organizations hire coaches to coach their own managers so they can eventually assist up and coming leaders in their own workplace.
Women encounter more obstacles in their career trajectory
Just as a GPS guides a person to their destination in a step by step manner and redirects the driver back to the route if they take a wrong turn, coaches are the GPS’ of employees. In her book titled, ‘ The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead’, Bonnie Marcus reveals how executive coaching can do wonders for one’s career. Women in particular need coaching due to the fact that they encounter more obstacles and therefore need the tact to handle them. From internal barriers like lack of confidence to how to negotiate politics and equal pay, women need skills like “political savvy and strategic vision”. Such specialized coaching also helps women navigate interpersonal relationships at the workplace by understanding human psychology at play and this affects people every day. It helps women think about their careers in a strategic way while also making them more aware of themselves. Also, it makes a huge difference in the way women exercise their influence in the office while also increasing their visibility at work; many women feel that they are invisible and are overlooked when it comes to being chosen for projects and promotions. More importantly, it makes them come out of their shells and comfort zones to tackle problems and challenges head-on.
Women also aren’t as confident as men
One of the benefits of working with a coach is that women get an objective, unbiased perspective on their careers and perspectives to help them excel in these areas. The problem 50 percent of women leaders believe that their leadership skills aren’t effective, while men think otherwise’ 50 percent believed their leadership was very effective. This is where coaching helps bridge the gap in the way male and female leaders perceived themselves, coaching helped make the difference between men and women disappear.
Coaching promotes employee engagement, productivity, and retention
To boost the effects of coaching even more than ever it’s important that the employee establishes realistic goals to achieve within the given time frame. Also, these goals must be reviewed and updated on a regular basis in order to advance professionally. There’s nothing like creating and executing a solid plan that will benefit you and your organization. In addition to this, there are plenty of benefits for the organization as coaching promotes employee engagement, productivity, and retention all while boosting business management and team building, since colleagues understand how to work with one another. As a result, the entire organization functions smoothly on a day-to-day basis from the entry-level to the executive. If these don’t make a successful organization, what will?
Mentoring isn’t the same as coaching
Note that mentoring should not be confused with coaching. There is a difference, believe it or not! The Training Industry defines coaching as a ‘task-oriented, performance-driven relationship between an experienced or expert coach and an employee (or a group of employees) at any level in an organization.’ This sort of relationship is vital for both the employee and the organization and it also includes multiple feedback. Companies usually hire coaches to bridge a skills gap in a particular team or if they need to develop a group of staff. Meanwhile, mentoring revolves around a relationship based on a senior person’s experience and everyone benefits from mentorship, the mentor, the mentee and the organizations as well as the personal lives of people. The benefits of mentoring are never a one-way street.
While many women do hesitate to invest in themselves and their professional life, the very idea of putting oneself at the forefront is foreign to them. Society has conditioned women to always take the backseat, especially at the workplace; therefore, the working woman of today needs to understand that she is indeed worth the investment. Don’t believe us? Do the research yourself!
Image credit: Training Industry