The technology field is continuing to grow at a fast pace in today’s modern workplace and the need for knowledgeable, critical thinkers is not slowing down.

According to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, women are outpacing men in attaining a college education and advanced degrees, but the landscape of certain professions does not seem to reflect the educated majority. One profession lacking a strong female presence is technology.

As a manager, I often am involved at the hiring level, reviewing submitted resumes and conducting interviews. In my experience, it’s not that women aren’t getting the jobs, it’s that they aren’t even applying.

A 2015 study by National Center for Women & Information Technology showed women held 57% of all professional occupations, but only 25% of the computing jobs.

During the past decade, the climate of corporations and attitudes of C-level executives has shifted. Instead of waiting for the traditional culture to shift, organizations are taking on this challenge headfirst, understanding a difference in perspective often brings about the best ideas.

With the existence of nonprofits, such as Girls Who Code, numerous women-led startups and state government-led STEM focus groups, businesses are starting to see a desire to effect change.

RSM’s culture, diversity and inclusion program has been in place for five years. It aims to transform innovation and collaboration by embracing an inclusive and diverse workforce. One of the ways our firm has aimed to achieve this is by implementing 11 employee network groups.

These groups target specific demographics and encourage stewardship and collaboration across our normal lines of business to better our personal and professional goals and perspectives. The STAR (Stewardship, Teamwork, Advancement, Retention) ENG supports the advancement and retention of women by promoting advocacy, mentorship and providing professional development to our employees including networking, business development and growth skills opportunities, and recruiting campus and experienced professionals.

As an active member of STAR in Dubuque, seeing my firm advocate for women in the workplace engages me even more. I encourage other organizations take a page from RSM (and Cisco, Hilton, Marriott, Comcast and hundreds of others) to actively seek to make their workforce more diverse.

Heather Fransen is a manager in RSM's technology consulting practice.

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