A Cheat Sheet for Allies: 3 Studies To Have At The Ready

There’s a growing stack of headlines about sexism in tech. Yet, some people still need convincing about why diversity is important. Here are our 3 favorite studies to point them to.

Background image by zeevveez, CC BY 2.0

Here we are, in the second decade of the 21st century, reading headlines galore about sexism in the tech industry. Surveys reveal the extent of sexual harassment and abuse. Women are speaking out about it and naming their harassers. And a male engineer rants that women are less suited for technical and leadership roles because of their biology.

At the same time, there’s growing awareness about the importance of diversity in the tech workforce.

The benefits are clear. Diverse teams create more innovative solutions. They’re more adept at solving difficult problems. And, they achieve better financial success.

Well, the benefits are clear to us. Not necessarily to everyone we talk to.

So, we’ve compiled a short list of research we like to refer people to. Far from comprehensive, yet relevant and compelling to folks in tech. Here it is:

  • According to McKinsey & Company, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to have better financial performance. And ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to financially outperform their counterparts.
  • A study by MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Union College found that women help make a group more effective at solving difficult problems.
  • Research by NCWIT shows that teams comprised of men and women produced the most frequently cited software patents — with citation rates 26%-42% higher than the norm for similar patents. What does this mean? Patents may cite other patents to reference prior art that they’ve built on or to differentiate themselves. A highly cited patent can mean that it’s core to its field, that it represents significant innovation. So, you’re more likely to create a significant patent if you have a gender diverse team.

Many allies believe in creating inclusive workplaces…because it feels like the right thing to do. But, if you come across someone who needs convincing, cite some of the stats above. And tell us how it goes, in the comments below or on Twitter. We’ll be rooting for you.

Becoming an ally is a journey. Want to join us?

Together, we can — and will — make a difference.

Everyday actions to create inclusive, engaging workplaces. Together, we can — and will — make a difference with the Better Allies® approach.

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