Blog 15.11.2023

A guide to making tech industry more inclusive

Gofore Crew

The blog post highlights Gofore’s actions to encourage and help women to tech industry. We also share practical tips for increasing inclusivity.

‘Goforean culture cherishes communality and welcomes all to build it. According to our cultural forces, we believe in caring, in membership and in psychological safety. By being a diverse and kind community, we are able to live our values into reality – as ethical digital pioneers creating better (work)life together.’ This is how we’ve described Gofore’s culture in the blog post discussing our DEI goals set earlier this year. As one of our DEI (Diversity, equity, and inclusion) KPIs, we’ve set having a minimum of 35% of our hires women. By the end of October 2023, the number is 40%. On a company level, 34% of Goforeans are women, in our Executive Team 27% and in our Board of Directors 50% are women. Why is it important for us to follow and set goals for the number of women? Let’s see.

Diversity & better end results to us and our customers

As several studies show, diverse teams are more innovative, in many ways more productive, and create better results than homogeneous teams (see e.g. McKinseyGartner and HBR). Our aim at Gofore is to offer stellar work environment to our experts, and build the best possible cooperation and services to our customers and their customers.

For us this means, for example, the following:

  • Offering diverse learning paths
  • Creating an inclusive working culture
  • Embracing and hiring diversity in gender, background, skills; and, whenever possible,
  • Building diverse teams.

All of this leads to more accessible, equal and safer products and services, more innovative solutions, and teams of experts that are stronger and better together than what they would be individually.

Women have been under represented and under recognised in the tech field, although definitely not absent. We all have read about Ada Lovelace, Margaret Hamilton, Grace Hopper and Radia Perlman. At Gofore, we have our own generation of women doing amazing things and building the list of acknowledged tech women. But we must do more.  

Our actions to encourage and help women to tech industry

For years we’ve wanted to encourage women to join the tech industry because it is the right thing to do.

After all, our first employee was a woman, our current Chief Sustainability Officer, then software developer, Kristiina Härkönen. Along with many of our peers, we’ve supported and participated in the work of, e.g., Women in Tech, Mimmit koodaa, The International Day of the Girl, Women4Cyber Finland and Plan International. To show example to other companies but also to give ideas and pave the way for women to carve their own path into tech. We’ve wanted to make career paths visible; be present in events to discuss, inspire, give tips and help forward; build networks and tools for girls aiming to build a career in tech; and give inspirational speeches.

We are currently preparing for the Mimmit koodaa Hackathon, happening 1-3 December 2023. Come and join the event, meet our mentors, sparr and innovate what the combination of digitalisation and the future of work looks like!

Internally, one of the most visible actions towards adding the number of women in the industry and at Gofore is through hiring. We always want to find the most suitable expert for the position but if it comes to deciding between equally suitable candidates of different genders, we go for the under represented. If there are less women candidates for an open job, we can source for more. When we have junior academies starting, we can decide to select more women, for example, based on their different background that brings diversity into our teams, in order to balance our (still) male dominant community to make the change. We are ready for it as a work community – and so should the rest of the world be as well.

At Gofore, salaries are paid by skills, not gender. And we can see from our internal, openly shared data that on a group level we are very close to reaching equal salaries, and depending on the role, in some cases women make more than men. We don’t want to see a ‘woman’s euro’. We want to see just ‘euros’.

Practical tips for increasing inclusivity

We have a couple of tips for everyone wanting to join the effort of making tech industry more equal:

  1. Keep the work ongoing, spreading also outside theme weeks when it’s ‘cool’ or employer brand friendly
  2. Publicly take a stand on issues and defend the under represented
  3. Give chances and make your words actions. Be accountable.
  4. Show results through financial numbers
  5. Normalise women in tech through visuals, accessible services and products, showing examples
  6. Take all genders into the equality work. We all deserve a place in tech, as gender doesn’t define your path. Only the variety of possibilities can do that.

We understand and recognise the fact that there’s much more to do and many additional aspects in the topic of gender diversity than what we discussed in this blog post. We believe that like eating an elephant, improvement must be done one piece at a time. The most important thing is to start. So that is what we are doing and you should not hesitate, either.

Last but not least: take a look at this booklet some of Gofore’s women have put together for this year’s International Day of the Girl to show some of the opportunities there are in the tech industry: Gofore Girl’s Day material (PDF; unfortunately, for now, only in Finnish). It’s awesome.

Tech industry is about being at the forefront of things, doing meaningful and cool stuff. That’s why girls – and we all – should be interested in joining! Help us spread the word, won’t you?

Let’s meet at Mimmit koodaa Hackathon, happening 1-3 December 2023. Join the event, meet our mentors, sparr and innovate what the combination of digitalisation and the future of work looks like!

Gofore Crew

Salla Niemelä

Head of Growth & Renewal

For Salla, it is important to see the employee experience as part of a successful business. She believes that an excellent employee and candidate experience consists of well-managed situations in day to day work and the opportunity to give and take responsibility. At Gofore Salla does her best to support recruitment success and building an employer brand, and acts as a change agent.

Anni Roinila

Head of Culture & EX

Anni's role is to lead the development of Gofore's organisational culture and employee experience. She takes care of People strategy focus areas such as developing the emotional atmosphere, communality and ways of working as well as internal communication. She sees herself building bridges and making sure we both include and share over borders.

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