It’s a common secret that the startup world is dominated by men. Most startups are more reluctant to hire more women.
Why are tech startups trying harder to hire a more diverse workforce? Startups always want to build close-knit group of employees. All men team would be much easier. They’re usually outgoing, optimistic, and, say, play a whole lot of ping pong. Most startup co-founders want to hire people who are exactly like them.
However, those typical founders are making a team of yes-men. Each person of your team thinks the same way as you do. Yes, they may have the good skills and qualities you need, but they also might have all the same faults, blindsides, and cultural biases.
If you’re going to hire young and free men with no social life who lives for work, your startup is going nowhere. You need to hire someone who has a well balanced personal life and interacts with a wide variety of people, than someone who has purely technical skills.
Employees with the ability to speak your startup jargon is obviously needed. The new employee can bring a realistic perspectives and ideas about how to grow your company in a different way.
Thus, hire women for your startup is a good choice. Hiring women as a core part of the team isn’t just important for the women’s movement or some grander sense of equality. It’s important for the success of your startup. And especially true during the early stages, when there’s just 3-10 people around.
The dynamics that a woman brings to the table are crucial to the success of a startup early on. Here are the reasons:
1. Higher Social Sensitivity & Empathy
Women tend to empathise more. They actually listen. They have open minds.Women have an uncanny ability to understand what a user wants, and how he or she is feeling when using a product or service. Is it useful? Is it intuitive?
Women are fantastic at conducting user interviews, holding feedback sessions, collecting ideas and synthesizing them into actionable requirements, prioritizing features, designing wireframes, and ultimately, communicating business needs to the technical team.
2. Natural Mediator
If you’re in a startup that has at least two men, you’ve seen it: inevitably, some subtle form of male power struggle exists. When there’s a difference in opinion, a woman is usually a natural mediator and can serve to break the intensity of the moment before it escalates.
Because women are more likely to talk about relationships than men, they tend to be the ones who surface issues and confront team members with what they see. Underlying discontentment is more likely to be nipped in the bud, rather than swept under the rug where it’ll resurface later in another form. Women offers softening the perspective of both parties.
3. More Detail-Oriented & Comprehensive
In 2006, Louann Brizendine’s controversial book, The Female Brain, claimed that women speak three times the number of words that men do. While other studies have disputed this as a myth or pop-psychology, look around and you’ll there’s some truth to the claim that women are more verbose. We are more expressive and descriptive. We like to give the context of every situation, and make sure we fully “get the story” before we pass judgment or make a decision.
At a startup, this is an asset. It translates into attention to detail, making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Most startup founders tend to be big visionaries with lofty goals. Having someone who’s more comprehensive and pays attention to the little things can help those founders—male or female—avoid missing the trees for the forest.
4. User of Your Startup’s Product(s)
Look at what percent of your user base is women. There’s a chance that almost 70% of your most active users are women. If you’re in e-commerce, then a woman should have a fundamental role in designing your product. Really, they’re the ones with the strongest buying power and influence over financial decisions within a family.
Why do you need a woman? More than just bringing gender diversity to a startup team, women contribute to the diversity in ideas and innovation because they look at things differently than men. So if you have a startup, you need women on your team, on your board, and among your advisors.
Women may be harder to find in this male-dominated startup space, but they’re essential to the health of any startup. And they are out there!
Next read: What Hires are Startup Founder Looking For?
Article contributed by Startup Jobs Asia‘s Team.
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