Six Ways to Attract and Hire Women in Male-Dominated Industries

Like this on Facebook

Current news stories make it sound like it’s impossible to attract women to high-tech jobs. My team debunks that myth. Here’s how you can do it too.

I lead a high-tech sales team of 50—half are women, including a vice president and two directors. Yes, this is highly unusual in the male-dominated worlds of both tech and sales, and I’m often asked how I’ve managed to hire so many successful women.

The truth is, I’ve never had a problem finding highly talented people of both genders, so I haven’t had a good answer. To analyze what’s worked so far, I turned to the experts: the women on my team. I asked what attracted them to their current job and what other companies could do to attract and retain women. Here’s what they had to say:

1.  Understand the power of female role models. Every woman I spoke to said that seeing women in leadership positions attracted her to our company. “It’s motivating to watch these leaders balance work and life, raise families, and still crush goals at work,” says Erica Johnson, a senior account executive. When Kathie Baures, a senior account executive, met me during her job interview, her first thought was: “Nice. A female exec. That’s different.

2.  Don’t treat women as tokens. Seeing only a handful of women scattered here and there raises a huge red flag. “I once had a leadership role with a large technology company where, out of 75 leaders, only two were women,” says Sherrie Hayes, a senior account executive. “Our ideas were quickly dismissed, and we were ignored on a regular basis.” After a year, she decided the money just wasn’t worth it and left.

3.  He for She. Building a strong female presence requires men who are not only committed to hiring women but actively champion for them. My boss, Rick Brown, an SVP of sales, was described as that kind of ally. Recalling her job interview with Rick, Hayes said, “He made it clear that, based on his opinion and experience, when you have women in your organization, you always have a strong and successful team.”

4.  First impressions count. A lot. Job interviews are as much about the candidate picking your company as they are about you deciding to extend a job offer. “I can tell right away if a company is ‘women friendly,’” said Hayes. “I take my cues from the men in leadership positions and how I’m treated during the interview process.” Baures described a disastrous interview at another tech company with a brash, egotistical VP: “I’d never want to work at a company where that guy was considered the ultimate sales prototype.”

5.  Get managers onboard.  To succeed you need support at all levels, not just at the top or within human resources. “If a company is serious about hiring more women then they need to make sure that’s not just HR talking and that they have hiring managers who objectively consider female candidates,” says account executive Amanda Pittis.

6.  Talent attracts talent. The great thing about hiring and developing talented women is that they become your best recruiting tool. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of like attracting like. Simply put: “Find the talented women in your company, nurture their skill set, and promote them,” says Lisa Martin, vice president of northwest sales. “They will act as a beacon for others to follow.”

Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse.

Alice Katwan

Alice Katwan is Senior Vice President of Sales, West and Central regions, at Genesys, a high-tech company in Silicon Valley. She has 20 years experience in sales at enterprise software companies, and frequently writes and speaks about women’s leadership issues. Connect with Alice on LinkedIn.

Recommended

Your Pursuit of Happiness

In honor of the anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence this July 4th, take time this week to exercise your right to pursue ...

Six Habits of Happy and Successful People

You know who they are — those people who seem to have it all: successful jobs, happy personal lives. You wonder how they got so ...

How to Appear Confident When You're *So* Not Feeling It

We all have days where we don’t want to interact with the outside world. These are the times when you just want to crawl in ...

Ready to lead?

We'll show you how!
Get email updates from Be Leaderly.

Our mission is to provide the career strategies that help you lead, climb and thrive as a rising woman of influence.

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

15 Songs for Your Leadership Playlist

It was one of those conference moments I’ll never forget: Carly Fiorina had ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

6 Critical Missteps That Hurt Your Career Advancement

Let’s face it: it isn’t easy to break out and establish yourself as ...

4 Characteristics of Leaders Who Get Hired and Promoted

Imagine if you had the opportunity to sit down with a senior executive ...

Nine Qualities of Female Leaders Who Get Beyond the Glass Ceiling

I’m frequently asked to speak about women in law and specifically the issue ...

5 Things Women Leaders Should Stop Doing. TODAY.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had a front row seat to career ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

8 Types of Courage for Aspiring Leaders

“The truth is that courage resides within you; you must simply decide to ...

How to Manage Former Peers

Let’s talk about a potentially awkward situation. You get a new role and ...

Public speaking tips for introverts. (Like me.)
Public speaking tips for introverts. (Like me.)

It was just an ordinary Tuesday. I woke up, made a strong pot of coffee,

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Roderick Wilson
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Roderick Wilson

This month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Roderick Wilson, Senior Vice President Market

Leaderly Quote: Strip away the drama from your leadership style…
Leaderly Quote: Strip away the drama from your leadership style…

Need to have a “tough love” conversation with someone at work? Stay calm, stick to

The Number One Way to Make a Difficult Conversation Easier
The Number One Way to Make a Difficult Conversation Easier

Need to have a difficult conversation with an employee, peer, or supervisor at work? Whether

Leaderly Quote: The best way to become who you’re destined to be…
Leaderly Quote: The best way to become who you’re destined to be…

“The best way to become who you’re destined to be is to accept who you

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Here they are! The most-viewed Be Leaderly articles for the past month. 1. 25 Questions

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Christina Lewis
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Christina Lewis

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing

Six Ways to Attract and Hire Women in Male-Dominated Industries
Six Ways to Attract and Hire Women in Male-Dominated Industries

Current news stories make it sound like it’s impossible to attract women to high-tech jobs.

Leaderly Quote: There’s something inside you that is stronger…
Leaderly Quote: There’s something inside you that is stronger…

“It’s impossible to please everybody,” writes Alexandra Franzen in her article, You’re Going to be

You Can Make Excuses or You Can Make Progress
You Can Make Excuses or You Can Make Progress

The other day, I hopped in a cab. The driver and I started chatting, as

3 Rules for Rule-Breakers
3 Rules for Rule-Breakers

“You can’t leave your career when you’re at your height—it will derail you.” That was

Leaderly Quote: Everyone needs a few influential advocates.
Leaderly Quote: Everyone needs a few influential advocates.

Everyone needs a few influential advocates. It’s not an exaggeration to say that with one

Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Here’s what other emerging leaders have been reading at BeLeaderly.com this month. Do you like

4 Corporate Culture Questions to Ask in a Job Interview
4 Corporate Culture Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

You’ve made it to the final round job interview, and are starting to feel hopeful.

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Copyright 2017, Be Leaderly