For the last ten months, Mazzetti has been tracking our female staff numbers as part of our effort to make Mazzetti the most female-friendly engineering company in the world. I have made a commitment to be transparent about our results, at least partly to put pressure on us to continue to strive for improvement. This commitment has resulted in all kinds of insights so far.
First though, let me get to the numbers. As of July 1, Mazzetti is:
Overall female staff = 26.86% (Slight increase)
Technical female staff = 17.24% (Slight decrease)
(We started tracking October 1, 2015.) We’re still only slightly above industry averages.
I suspect we are similar to other engineering firms in that our corporate staff is almost 65% female, and our engineering teams run about 16 to 33% female. Unfortunately, I have not been tracking progress of each office over time, so I can’t really see how they are trending. But I can tell you that our Irvine office at 33% female and Denver office at 25% female, are our highest female percentages.
Here are a couple of insights:
1. We don’t have a lot of turnover which is good, but that plus the fact that we are growing at only a moderate pace means that we don’t have a big opportunity for fast change; we will have to be the turtle – slow and steady.
2. I had one female at Mazzetti, in response to one of these blog posts, say that we needed to focus not so much on hiring as on supporting the women already here. I totally agree with that, and we are trying to do just that.
3. I recently read a new book called What Works, Gender Equality by Design. Author Iris Bohnet argues that meaningful change starts with analytics, which starts with measurement. This reminds me of Atul Gawande’s prescription for becoming a positive deviant – MEASURE; measuring things teaches you things, and unleashes opportunity. So, we are measuring, and maybe this measure is a crude first start, but it is a start.
Anyway, progress is slow. I am asking so much of the people here – take care of clients, take care of colleagues, make the world a better place, and, by the way, do it at a profit – that sometimes this is just one more thing. But, it’s an important thing. We will continue to work at making this a place that moves the needle on diversity, becoming the kind of place that supports all its people, all inclusive.