The workforce at technology businesses is predominately male and young, as many in the sector are well aware. Businesses frequently defend themselves against accusations of insularity by claiming that the problem is primarily one of pipeline: too few women and people of colour pursue degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, and hence do not apply for roles at tech companies.
Diversity in technology demonstrates how receptive firms are to fresh and different ideas. Companies with a diverse workforce are more likely to provide a wider variety of solutions to different problems since these employees bring new talents, knowledge, and skills to the table.
What is “Diversity and Inclusion”?
The term “diversity and inclusion” refers to the process by which a business actively cultivates a diverse workforce. People from underrepresented communities in the tech sector, such as racial and gender minorities, as well as women in specific tech positions, make up a diverse workforce.
Specifically, diversity refers to the state of the workforce, and inclusion refers to the attitude, policies, and practices of the tech recruiters in hiring, retaining, and developing an inclusive tech workforce.
What Does Diversity And Inclusion Mean For The Tech Industry?
The tech industry is well-known for being male-dominated. This is unfortunate because technology has the power to impact every single life on earth.
Diversity and inclusion have been a prominent issue in the tech industry because they make a strong business case, but progress has been slow. This is unfortunate because a lot of tech companies rely on the insights, innovations, global market expertise, and specialised skills of their diverse employee base.
Diversity in technology promotes innovation, tech organisations have a greater opportunity to dominate the market if they have strong diversity programmes in place to foster this advantage, which places technical roles such as software engineers among the most desirable and fulfilling jobs in the world.
Hiring Diverse Talent For Tech Jobs
McKinsey identifies opportunities in socioeconomic, educational, and neurodiversity. This identification expands the scope of diversity and inclusion, which has been dominated by issues of gender and cultural diversity. Having talent recruitment and management approaches tailored to address each type of diversity would deliver effective outcomes.
SwipeGuide’s Sue Li proposes that recruiters hire for potential rather than prior experience in order to boost diversity in hiring. As a result of their different backgrounds, candidates should be given preference over those who are unwilling to acquire knowledge and grow rather than being condemned for what they do not know. While she focuses on women in tech leadership roles, her advice is applicable to different sorts of diversity as she is one of the role models for women.
Gender diversity in tech
Gender diversity is the most obvious and long-time issue in tech. The lack of gender diversity also places pressure on men in tech. Rebecca Parsons, CTO of ThoughtWorks, highlights the unconscious bias of ‘brogrammer culture’ in tech – how the tech industry wrongly perceives itself to be meritocratic, but it does have a pervasive bias against people who are not macho.
It is fairly usual to find a developer team composed entirely of men. It is critical to recognise that this is not normal, but rather a diversity issue. What can your organisation do to diversify its talent pipeline so that the next group of new employees in software engineering has a more equal representation of men and women when it receives a reduced percentage of female applicants for technical roles? Perhaps it’s time to implement a recruitment marketing plan that targets underrepresented groups particularly in order to persuade individuals to apply.
A more difficult task is to diversify leadership representation. For women in technology, the diversity gap is highly present. Considerably, internal recruiting and promotion are advantageous for female tech executives because their established track records have been properly acknowledged.
Educational diversity in tech
We have suggested taking into account tech talent with no relevant educational qualifications other than a portfolio of actual work. This includes persons who change careers, retirees who return to work, and immigrants who received their education in a less developed country.
Talent recruitment at tech companies should have the perspective and be able to recognize authentic professional competency, without the stamp of approval from well-known university programs. They can do so by training to look beyond superficial differences in the use of technical terms or presentation, and focus more on how these people are able to provide good solutions using different approaches.
People from diverse educational backgrounds bring with them alternative perspectives in solving common technological problems, thus contributing to the creativity of the company culture.
Socioeconomic diversity in tech
As technology becomes increasingly pervasive, access to education in tech is no longer limited to a privileged few. However, diversity in terms of socio-economic background still lags behind.
In addition to recruiting from different educational backgrounds, companies should also pursue the hiring of candidates from various socioeconomic classes and backgrounds. This would provide an opportunity for individuals who may not have access to resources a chance to showcase their talents.
Organisations can also provide financial assistance to help cover the cost of learning materials, tech gadgets and other tools necessary for work from home. Furthermore, organisations should consider offering additional benefits such as parental leave and flexible working hours to allow parents from low-income backgrounds to take on tech roles while caring for their families.
Diversity Brings Financial Advantages
McKinsey & Company’s 2015 report “Diversity Matters” (based on a survey of 366 public companies in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States) showed that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above industry medians. According to survey findings, there is a statistically significant link between more diverse leadership teams and better financial success. In the United States, for example, for every 10% increase in diversity on a senior leadership team, earnings climb by 0.8 percent. On the other hand, businesses with low levels of racial and gender diversity are less likely to see financial returns that are above average for their sector.
The survey also addressed gender: when women constitute a minimum of 22% of a company’s senior management team in the United States, every 10% increase in gender diversity equates to a 0.3 percent boost in earnings margins. And in the UK, it was shown that there is an even stronger correlation between gender diversity and financial performance: for every 10% increase in gender diversity on a senior management team, earnings rise by 3.5%.
A Necessity in a Global Marketplace
Successful technology companies are now by definition global businesses, serving increasingly diverse marketplaces with different languages and customs. To succeed in this diverse market terrain, companies need a diverse workforce that can more effectively provide products and services to reach wide audiences. Foreign language skills are highly prized in a global economy and a workforce with language diversity will better be able to serve customers. Employing representatives from a wide variety of cultures, ethnicities, and age groups creates a corporate environment with broad perspectives — one that resonates with all customers.
Having individuals from diverse backgrounds on your team enables every employee to learn more from their colleagues, resulting in a more creative and innovative workforce. More homogeneous organisations, on the other hand, often suffer from innovation-crippling tunnel vision.
Diversity in tech brings a host of advantages, from improved financial performance to increased creativity and innovation. Companies should proactively pursue the hiring of individuals from different backgrounds and ensure that these employees receive the same benefits as everyone else. Tech organisations should also strive for greater socioeconomic diversity in their teams, as this will allow them to better serve a global marketplace. Ultimately, companies that embrace diversity will benefit from a larger talent pool and increased opportunities for success.
This is why it is critical for organisations to take steps towards increasing the diversity of their workforce in order to better serve their customers, achieve financial success, and stay ahead of their competition. In today’s increasingly globalised world, it is essential for tech companies to embrace diversity, and give individuals from all backgrounds the opportunity to succeed in the industry. With this in mind, any company looking to stay ahead of the competition should make diversity a priority.
Outsourcing firms like 9NEXUS exist to help make the process of recruiting diversely much simpler. 9NEXUS is dedicated to helping businesses increase their hiring diversity while focusing on finding the best candidate for the job. Not only are there a variety of customised services and advantages of working with them, but they offer tremendous value, efficiency and de-burden companies from handling recruiting themselves which is especially valuable in this competitive market. So if you’re looking for assistance finding the perfect candidate for your company’s current needs, consider an outsourcing firm like 9NEXUS.