In a wide-ranging interview with Business Insider, The Container Store CEO Kip Tindell revealed that women occupy 70 percent of his company’s senior ranks, a reversal of what one sees in most firms.
“Obviously, we have nothing against men,” he told the interviewer. “It’s just that the skill set—communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, understanding what we stand for (Conscious Capitalism, servant leadership), and being like our target customer—really fits the bill with women.”
The rest of the interview covers Tindell’s philosophy of productivity, his company’s low turnover rate, and his favorite business books.
While The Container Store isn’t a tech company per se, Tindell’s comments could bear some study in the tech industry, where women occupy a distinct minority of important roles. Over the past several months, some of the nation’s biggest tech companies—including Google, Apple, and Microsoft—have released diversity reports suggesting their respective workforces are overwhelmingly white and male; many of those firms’ executives have been quick to blame that on the education system that feeds new recruits to the workforce.
Despite that imbalance, tech executives have noted that IT teams with women can perform better than male-only ones. “Women tend to work more cohesively,” Kirsten Wolberg, vice president of technology for PayPal, recently told Dice. “They also tend to connect with the customer more when trying to solve a problem.”
Women also outdo men when it comes to raising money for projects via crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, according to researchers from New York University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, crowdfunded projects in tech and gaming tended to draw more funding when organized by a female founder. “Our findings suggest that activism, as well as representation, is required to change the constraints facing women raising capital,” the researchers’ study concluded.
But much work remains to be done if tech firms want to balance out their representation.
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