A Cultural Shift in Software Development
Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of Deerhold’s mission to bring exceptional ideas and people together. We know we can only grow as a company and a community when all individuals feel supported, accepted and respected. Each member of our team is a valued part of this company.
With our headquarters in the US and most of our software engineers based in Nepal, sourcing a diverse workforce brings unique challenges.
A historically patriarchal society, Nepal has come a long way. In 2015, a new Constitution guaranteed fundamental rights for all. Today, Nepal shows tangible progress in the empowerment of women and other previously disadvantaged groups.
Over the past few decades, the technology industry here has also seen great leaps in diversity. More women, minorities and other underrepresented groups are joining the sector than ever before. However, there is still a long way to go.
According to Nepal’s 2017–18 Labor Force Survey, only 0.5% of the female workforce in the country are employed in the IT and Communication sector. Female students with an aptitude for math and computer skills are still hampered by social and cultural constraints. They are grossly underrepresented in software development classes, but even those with the required knowledge or training struggle to get work in this sector. This problem is not unique to Nepal, but the country does have its specific challenges. As a company, community and country, it is crucial that we bridge these remaining gaps. Jobs in information technology and other STEM fields will be ever more important in the future, and promoting these in an equitable way is key to meeting sustainable development goals and alleviating poverty worldwide. Yet these professions are still very much male dominated worldwide, and a lot of potential remains hidden.
Deerhold feels strongly about helping the cultural shift toward diversity through our policies and practices. Our company itself benefits greatly from this otherwise untapped potential. A lack of diversity leads to a lack of perspective. And for a company with a global reach such as Deerhold, varied perspectives are crucial. For these reasons, women currently make up 32% of the Deerhold team, an impressive statistic in the context of software firms globally and Nepal especially.