Our world is, in many ways, fueled by technological innovation meant to serve a wide range of people and their ideas. However, it’s no secret that the majority of minds behind this work are strikingly homogeneous. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau has shown that 66% of coders are white professionals, with 78% of those being men. That leaves women and minorities vastly underrepresented across the industry.
As the tech industry becomes even more aware of these gaps and makes strides to reshape its workforce, it’s crucial for employers to consider the importance of diversity and inclusion. It’s not only morally imperative but also business-savvy, allowing new perspectives and greater creativity for richer solutions to the industry’s biggest challenges.
Everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed in the field they are interested in and passionate about. Women and BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) communities are currently underrepresented in the industry, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested in tech. A lack of diversity allows damaging social inequalities and biases to persist, when instead these groups should be able to benefit from the same economic advancement, recognition and influence the industry has afforded others.
Broader Creative Horizons
The tech industry is all about innovation and invention. It takes a wealth of knowledge and ideas to come up with solutions that can truly fulfill the needs of consumers around the globe. Diversity in tech only elevates these creative processes and expands upon possibilities. It brings people together from different backgrounds, education and walks of life, enabling the best ideas to come forward faster.
More Representative Solutions
Technology and its advancements are made for everyone. However, the lack of diversity in tech means fewer ideas and solutions centered around those in underrepresented groups. Increasing diversity in the tech industry also means generating solutions that better meet the diversity of the people the technology is really for. The more women and BIPOC tech workers there are, the more their viewpoints can be incorporated into future developments, which may better meet the needs of their communities.
Widening the Tech Talent Pool
51% of business leaders say they struggle to hire diverse entry-level talent. However, the same survey found that 68% of 18 to 28-year-olds have felt uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or neurodevelopmental condition. That’s not an insignificant percentage. Helping these members of the workforce feel comfortable and accepted is crucial for hiring and retaining tech talent, especially since legacy tech employees won’t be around forever. A fresh, new pool of passionate talent trained and retained is a must for the next era of technological innovation.
How to Improve Diversity & Inclusion in Tech
There are several ways you can improve diversity and inclusion initiatives in your company.
- Be vocal about diversity and inclusion initiatives both internally and externally.
- Commit to hiring diverse candidates, including those from different educational backgrounds.
- Be open to remote work opportunities for your employees so you can widen the number of candidates available to you.
- Track your progress, including your hires, how diverse your team is and how diverse your leadership is.