Many people are wondering if 2019 is the year that women fully break the glass ceiling, get equal pay, and find themselves in positions of power — especially in technology fields (we sure hope so!). When it comes to women and the tech sector, there is still so much work to be done. Luckily, women across a variety of industries from technology to retail have leaned into their data to achieve success. Read on to learn exactly how women-owned businesses use data to succeed (and how yours can, too).
According to Wired, “ computer science is one of the few STEM fields in which the number of women has been steadily decreasing since the ’80s. In the tech industry, women hold only around one-fifth of technical roles.” Furthermore, they tend to make $16,000 a year less than their male counterparts. But there is hope! Here are a few examples of how women in tech are leading the way in innovation, and why it is so important to have women as a part of the decision-making process.
Maria Klawe, the President of Harvey Mudd College, a university in Claremont, CA, that is one of the best undergraduate schools for science, math, and engineering in the country. She has made it a goal to make her school more inclusive of women in STEM, especially in computer science. Her efforts led her university from having 10% female enrollment to 40% female enrollment in computer science in just 5 years. She has also become an expert in female hiring, suggesting a rethinking and rewording in how tech jobs should be advertised. She states that companies shouldn’t “just list the technical skills you’re looking for. List communication skills, creativity, and people skills, so women will know it’s a workplace that values those things and because those are traits women tend to have more confidence about.”
Ellen Latham, CEO of Orange Theory Fitness (the second-fastest woman-owned company in the United States, has used data to ensure success across all franchises. In an interview with Forbes, OrangeTheory Fitness CFO sheds light on the exact role of data plays in the brand’s success:
Our business intelligence (BI) portal… utilizes data in real time to provide analytics about each franchisee’s studio’s performance and member behavior. This empowers franchisees to make informed decisions to drive profits. For example, historical data shows us that members with low utilization rates have a high probability of cancelling, resulting in a short length of stay with the brand. Our BI reporting can spotlight these low utilization members, allowing our owners to proactively reach out to understand how we can better meet their needs and get them back into the studio. Our reporting tool can also identify members that have very high utilization rates but own a basic membership level.
Orange Theory Fitness has grown quickly because it leverages data to continually optimize how it engages customers. While organizing customers into segments is a key step in building a marketing strategy, most businesses may be uncertain about the best way to do so automatically. One way to tackle this is, like Orange Theory Fitness, building your own business intelligence platform that helps you take more control of audience data. At Lineate, for example, we help brands optimize the platforms they’re already using or create completely custom technology to merge and organize cross-channel audience data for more holistic customer insight.
Heather Ames Versace is the Co-Founder and COO of Neurala, an tech company that specializes in artificial intelligence. Recently, her focus has become on making sure that emerging technologies can be taken advantage of by people of all walks of life. She states that “Artificial intelligence has the potential to significantly improve lives, but it’s also in danger of widening the bounds of inequality across gender, race and other characteristics.” To combat this danger, her team has developed Brain Builder, an AI technology that gives “developers, students and universities, regardless of gender, race or identity, more cost-effective and efficient tools to develop AI.”
Sophia Amoruso, the founder and CEO of NastyGal, a women’s vintage fashion retailer, and author of New York Times bestseller, #GirlBoss, has started a new project specifically to help women succeed in the workspace. She has started a social network, Girl Boss, specifically designed for professional women (and men) to network, receive mentorships, and education. According to the article, “15,000 users have been waitlisted to be part of the exclusive invite-only, U.S. based network that will grant them hours of recorded videos from the company’s bi-annual conferences and access to ticketed events with the main focus on women’s success as a whole.”
These are just a few of the female-owned businesses that are succeeding in no small part due to their understanding of the importance of technology and data. Lineate has created a program called Technique, which offers discounted development resources and cross-channel marketing software to minority- and women-owned businesses.