By Karissa Neely
Daily Herald, January 26, 2018 —
It’s been roughly 75 years since Rosie the Riveter encouraged women to go to work, and women still struggle to break the glass ceiling.
The glass ceiling — that unseen barrier keeping women and minorities from those upper rungs of corporations — is still around today, but many Silicon Slopes tech companies are actively working to destroy it. The Women Tech Council honored these efforts with its first-ever release of the Shatter List.
The 2018 Shatter List showcases 44 tech companies — from unicorns to startups — that are creating and enacting practices to shatter the glass ceiling for women. The list is one of the first in the industry to review and rate companies based on the development and successful implementation of measures that create inclusive cultures where women can contribute and succeed.
“By highlighting the companies and practices that are actively championing women and are making strides to change the industry’s landscape and culture, this list accelerates the technology sector’s journey to increase the number of women in technology and break our own glass ceiling,” said Cydni Tetro, Women Tech Council president.
The Shatter List scored companies on four factors critical to building inclusive cultures:
- active support at the executive level,
- company programming,
- community investment, and
- diversity and inclusion groups.
“These companies are truly changing the landscape because of what they are doing top to bottom. They are not just talking about it, they are doing it,” Tetro said. “This is such a critical component. Across the state, there are so many open tech jobs. It is critical to include the entire workforce, not just half of it.”
The 2018 Shatter List
The Women Tech Council 2018 Shatter List in alphabetical order:
- 3M Health Information Systems
- Central Logic
- Cox Automotive
- Dell EMC
- Franklin Covey
- Goldman Sachs
- Health Catalyst
- IM Flash
- Imagine Learning
- Intermountain Healthcare
- L-3 Communications
- Listen Technologies
- Orbital ATK
- Recursion Pharmaceuticals
- USANA Health Science
- Veracity Solutions
- Vivint Smart Home
- Wells Fargo
- Zions Bank
According to Tetro’s research, only 23.5 percent of tech workers in Utah are women. The national average, at 27.5 percent, is not much better. Even more surprising, of the 700 female college students in the WTC Student Innovators — a program for women pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math — only 9.7 percent of them plan to stay in Utah after they graduate. Tetro’s research shows that these college students don’t feel there are enough role models or job opportunities for them in Utah.
This is one of the reasons the WTC decided to recognize those companies changing the conversation around gender disparity.
Lehi-based Workfront scored well on the list. Over the past few years, the company has added a number of women executives to its ranks. According to Linda Butler, Workfront’s senior vice president of people and culture, it’s gotten even better recently. At the executive level, the ratio of women to men will be even when Workfront’s new chief marketing officer starts in March.
“This is the first leadership panel I’ve been with like this. It’s pretty exciting,” Butler said. With more women in leadership positions, Butler said, female employees have diverse role models, and can better visualize themselves advancing in their careers.
Workfront, which has about 500 Utah employees and 900 employees total, is also working within the company to better facilitate this through its Women of Workfront employee resource group. The group, comprised of both women and men, provides leadership opportunities, mentoring, training and support. Butler says the group is not so much about gender, but more about creating an inclusive company culture.
“We’re finding these programs are successful in retaining women employees, and we’re seeing more internal promotions,” Butler said. “It’s not about women versus men, it’s genuinely about inclusion.”
Both Lehi companies — as well as many others on the Shatter List — offer generous maternity and paternity benefits, a key component to employee retention. Butler said Ancestry takes it even a bit further, and has designed a “reintegration process” for mothers returning from maternity leave, which allows them to build back up to full time.
“So it’s not zero to 60 right away,” she said.
All of the companies on the Shatter List are integrating these types of employee programs, as well as focusing on proactive hiring and recruiting, educational outreach and creating inclusivity. Tetro feels those on this first Shatter List really are leading the way in supporting women in technology careers.
“These companies will make the difference,” Tetro said.
The full Shatter List is available at www.womentechcouncil.com/women-tech-council-reveals-2018-shatter-list.