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Nurturing and Retaining Talent in S.C.

As a woman and a non-profit leader dedicated to fostering diverse technical talent and empowering women to ascend to leadership roles, I join many other women and allies in South Carolina who clearly see the precipice on which our state currently teeters. 

South Carolina stands at a crossroads. According to the Women’s Rights Empowerment Network’s (WREN) Playbook for Advancing Gender Equity, our state ranks 49th in gender equity and 49th in support of working mothers, painting a sobering picture. It’s no wonder SC also ranks 49th in the number of women in our legislature. As the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of South Carolina’s families, women are integral to our state’s economic vitality. It’s disheartening, then, to see that women are more likely to face economic hardships and workplace discrimination, especially when economic opportunities for women are integral to healthy and successful families and intergenerational economic mobility.

In the tech sector, a paradigm shift is underway. Women are demanding more from their employers and are seeking workplaces that prioritize flexibility, well-being, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This movement holds profound implications for attracting and retaining female talent. 

By cultivating a culture of inclusivity and promoting the capabilities of women, we forge a brighter future for South Carolina. By retaining our valuable resources and influencing the decisions that define our state’s future, we positively impact the bottom line for companies. A study by the McKinsey Institute showed that companies with greater gender diversity in management are 21% more likely to see above-average profits. 

Moreover, the changing landscape of reproductive rights in South Carolina necessitates a critical examination of our current leadership and its impact on women’s autonomy. Reports suggest that in states with strict pro-life policies, women may face increased challenges in accessing reproductive healthcare, potentially affecting their overall well-being and performance in the workplace.

To effect meaningful change at both the state & organizational levels, more women must step into the political arena or support those who do. Women’s perspectives are crucial for fair governance and equitable policies. Additionally, we must encourage tech companies, and all industries, to adapt their cultures and policies. By creating environments that attract and retain talented women, we can stem the tide of talent leaving our state for brighter opportunities elsewhere. 

In this pivotal moment, it is evident that women possess the potential to revolutionize our state’s trajectory. By championing their causes and showcasing success stories of those who have elevated their organizations and communities, we pave the way for a more inclusive, prosperous South Carolina. Women are leaving their mark across industries and are demonstrating a readiness to leave roles that don’t align with their values. 

The path forward is clear. It rests in the capable hands of the women of South Carolina and our allies. By providing the necessary support, and by changing the narrative surrounding women’s leadership, we elevate our state’s standing and ensure decisions are made with a broad spectrum of perspectives. Together, we are the architects of a more promising future for South Carolina. 

As we endeavor to retain and empower our talented women, let us be guided by the understanding that their success is everyone’s success. In the evolving landscape of our state, inclusivity is not merely a choice; it is an imperative, a force that will drive South Carolina forward. Together, let us champion diversity, empower women, and shape a future that we can all be proud of.

Blog by Kaity Miller
COO, Build Carolina

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