ThoughtWorks Recognised as a True Leader in Encouraging Women in Technical Roles

November 15, 201610:24 am423 views
ThoughtWorks Recognised as a True Leader in Encouraging Women in Technical Roles
image: screengrab of thoughtworks.com

The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing, announced ThoughtWorks as the winner of the 2016 Top Companies for Women Technologists program. With the highest overall score, the global software company has been recognized as a true leader in recruiting, retaining and advancing more women in technical roles.

The national benchmark program evaluated 60 companies with more than 1.4 million US employees, including 552,000 technologists across 10 industries, with ThoughtWorks showcasing:

  • 40.5 percent of all new recruits as women across all career levels (entry, mid, senior and executive), compared to an average of 23 percent
  • Women technologists being represented at higher rates at all career levels
  • Entry level: Women hold 59.6 percent of the positions, compared to an average of 26.8 percent at all participating companies
  • Mid level: Women hold 46.2 percent of the positions, compared to an average of 22.6 percent at all participating companies
  • Senior level: Women hold 30 percent of the positions, compared to an average of 18.4 percent at all participating companies
  • Executive level: Women hold 23.8 percent of the positions, compared to an average of 14.1 percent at all participating companies
  • Representation momentum (year-over-year changes in representation) increasing across entry, senior and executive career levels.

“We began focusing on the diversity of our workforce more than 6 years ago, and to be designated as the top company for women technologist by the Anita Borg Institute is deeply gratifying,” said Dr. Rebecca Parsons, Chief Technology Officer, ThoughtWorks. “Diversity benefits everyone and the industry is beginning to embrace this opportunity. The concrete commitment to measure and improve will expand diversity, fostering new ideas and better business results.”

“Women are critical to the future of technology, and ThoughtWorks has demonstrated it is possible today to dramatically increase the representation of women in the technical workforce. They have clearly created a culture where both women and men can thrive,” said Telle Whitney, President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute. “What ThoughtWorks has accomplished to date not only provides an excellent example to other organizations of what they can do but also a challenge to the industry overall to do more.”

ThoughtWorks has implemented a number of programs and philosophies over the last six years to increase diversity within the company. This includes:

  • Taking a unique approach to hiring: Conventional wisdom says IT jobs require a four-year computer science degree. That no longer holds true, and ThoughtWorks has found success by looking beyond the typical computer science degree and casts a wide net for talent, which includes self-taught coders, or graduates who majored in disciplines like economics, liberal arts or mechanical engineering.
  • Purposeful onboarding and investing in all talent from day one: Investing in employees at all levels is essential and results in better employee engagement and loyalty. All new graduates attend ThoughtWorks University, a five-week intensive training program which simulates projects and covers both technical and soft skills. All other hires, mid-level to executive, are paired with onboarding buddies, helping them navigate all aspects of the business, especially the cultural ones.
  • Reward teamwork: Creativity and innovative problem solving thrives when diverse opinions and perspectives are shared, and ThoughtWorks’ collaborative culture values teamwork and shared knowledge over individual heroics.

Since 2010, Top Companies for Women Technologists has used data supplied by participating companies and a rigorous statistical methodology to objectively score participants on a number of key metrics.

Compared to publicly released diversity data from companies where definitions vary, the program provides a standard measurement of the representation of women technologists at entry, mid, senior, and executive levels, as well as the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in technical roles.

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