Although the company has a good balance of genders, what has made me reevaluate part of my identity is that I now see firsthand that programming jobs are dominated by men. It is therefore apparent to me more than ever that this is a job that is not as welcoming or easily accessed by people of different identities. It is also now clear to me that I chose this sector also because it is particularly welcoming for people like me, on top of my passion for it.
This lack of diversity in the sector is a serious liability in terms of innovation: people from similar backgrounds who have had similar upbringing are likely to end up with the same ways of thinking and problem-solving. This can, in turn, hamper the problem solving and the ingenuity of a team as there is only one dominant thinking process instead of many complementary ones.
Increasing the diversity inside of a software development team can be extremely beneficial as it would allow for problems to be tackled in different and novel ways. This stems from the fact that people from different backgrounds have gone through different educational paths both at home and in school. Although they have been taught similar if not the same material, they may have experienced dramatically different ways of approaching the same problem. Therefore, increasing diversity inside of a team can increase productivity and should, therefore, be sought out.