Gender and diversity imbalances will impact your ability to connect with and serve your customers – Interview with Adriana Gascoigne of Girls In Tech

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Today’s interview is with Adriana Gascoigne, founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization devoted to empowering, educating and engaging women in the tech industry across 43 chapters in 32 countries. Adriana joins me today to talk about Girls In Tech, her new book: Tech Boss Lady: How to Start-Up, Disrupt, and Thrive as a Female Founder and the impact that gender and diversity imbalances have on an organisation’s ability to best serve its customers.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Adriana:

  • Adriana is author of a new book called Tech Boss Lady: How to Start-Up, Disrupt, and Thrive as a Female Founder.
  • Wrote the book as she was sick and tired of reading startup books and manuals and listening to podcasts where only men were being interviewed.
  • However, there are many awesome women out there that are launching their own startups, creating their own companies, building products and services that are very innovative and very important for society today, not only for the general population, but for women in particular.
  • In writing the book, Adriana interviewed over forty five women and featured twenty two womens stories within the book.
  • You need resiliency to succeed in the startup sector.
  • On entrepreneurship: “this shit is hard and because of that it should never be sugar coated”.
  • Startup life is like over-glamourized.
  • However, take that risk. If you don’t put all your chips in at some point or another, you’re not going to be able to realize the impact that you can make when you build your start-up.
  • Girls in Tech (https://girlsintech.org/), is a global non-profit organization focused on the engagement, education, and empowerment of women in technology.
  • 47% of workers in the US workforce are women yet only 25% of US I.T. and tech workers are women.
  • However, the US is doing better than many other countries: in Australia and the UK the numbers are 10% and 16% respectively in terms of the percentage of I.T. and tech workers that are women.
  • We are making progress but it is taking time.
  • Companies need to hold themselves accountable, departments need to hold themselves accountable and employees need to hold themselves accountable based on their actions and their words and how that makes others feel.
  • Does gender imbalance impact a company’s ability to connect with and serve its customers? Yes, I think any kind of imbalance does.
  • If you have a diverse group of people then you’re going to be better at creative problem solving, you’re going to innovate at a faster pace, you’re going to be able to have a culture where people are productive and feel safe.
  • Everyone has different perspectives based on their own personal experiences and you won’t get those different perspectives if you’re hiring the same type of person for that role.
  • If your company is filled with 25 to 30 year old white male engineers then they’re building products and services for their friends.
  • Accountability is extremely important but we need to remember that actions speak louder than words.
  • Good actions to promote and encourage diversity and inclusion would include things like;
    • Culture survey tools to understand where things can be improved,
    • Specific training and policies that focus on helping both management and employees know how to work better with each other,
    • The creation of a safe space for employees to come and alert H.R. about things that are happening in the company.
    • In terms of recruitment, actions could include rewriting job descriptions, having a more diverse panel of interviewers or figuring out different ways of testing the candidates.
  • More than ever, customers really care about companies who pay it forward.
  • Coming soon…..the Girls In Tech’s new recruitment platform. All of the folks on there will be Girls in Tech approved! To find out more then get in touch at: recruitment@girlsintech.org or watch this space: http://recruitment.girlsintech.org/
  • Adriana’s Punk CX word: Storytelling.
  • Adriana’s brand that epitomises a Punk CX ethos: Apple.

About Adriana

Adriana GascoigneAdriana Gascoigne is the Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization devoted to empowering, educating and engaging women in the tech industry across 43 chapters in 32 countries. No stranger to growing brands and building amazing companies, Adriana has worked with tech companies like Indiegogo, Oracle’s Involver, and Change.org. She has also served in executive roles at Ogilvy & Mather, Interpublic Group of Companies, Social Gaming Network (SGN), and SecondMarket.

Adriana holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Organizational Studies from the University of California at Davis, and received a certification from El Tecnologico de Monterrey in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She is a Singular University Impact Fellow Scholarship Recipient, was named one of the 20 most influential Latinos in technology in 2018 by CNET and 2018 Pioneer Leadership Award winner at the Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit. Adriana is an author and will be publishing her first book, Tech Boss Lady, in June 2019.

Check out Girls in Tech (https://girlsintech.org/), say Hi to them and Adriana on Twitter @GirlsinTech and @afgascoigne and do connect with Adriana on LinkedIn here.

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Thanks to Pixabay for the image.

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