Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives were initially created to provide workers with greater opportunities and healthier working environments, but study after study has shown that diverse workplaces are also better for employers. Having a diverse workplace is about more than merely increasing diversity sores. Diversity drives innovation and attracts more employees from a wider pool of candidates.
The advantages of DEI are especially important to technology companies. Our industry has consistently lagged the overall private industry in diversity. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, high-tech sector employment is 68.5 % white vs. 63.5% overall, and 83.3% of technology executives are white.
Black Workers Are Particularly Underrepresented in Technology
In 2018, the Brookings Institution cited that even though black workers accounted for nearly 12 percent of the total U.S. workforce, they represented only 8 percent of tech workers.
This is not a new issue and will not go away overnight. Google published their first breakdown of employment by gender and race in 2014 and reported, among other disparities, that only 1.9 percent of workers were Black. Even with this knowledge and extensive investment, only 4.4 percent of its workforce was Black seven years later.
Explore the powerful advantages of cultivating a diverse workforce and proven ways to make it happen. Download the eBook.
Diversity Improves Employee and Business Performance
Promoting diversity in the workforce is essential to breaking down the barriers that prevent women, people of color, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+ from achieving professional growth. And as mentioned before, it’s good business as well:
Better for employees. Without diverse leadership, women and LGBTQIA+ are approximately 20% less likely to have their ideas recognized than straight white men, and people of color are 24% less likely.
Better for employers. It is not only employees who miss out when the voices of women and diverse people are ignored. Studies cited by Harvard Business Review, BCG, Credit Suisse and Reuters have shown that firms that embrace diversity in their workforce and senior management are 70% more likely to capture new markets and 45% more likely to report growth in market share over the previous year.
It’s clear. Diverse voices not only drive innovation, but they also increase a company’s ability to connect with a broader range of stakeholders.
Diversity Helps Attract and Retain Valuable Talent
We all know the challenges of the current talent gap in technology. This makes it even more essential to create workplaces that attract the best talent and provide greater job satisfaction for all employees. DEI can be a major asset here.
According to Great Places to Work, Inc., 77% of Generation Z say that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there and 69% of millennials employed at diverse organizations said that they would stay with the employer for more than five years.
In fact, when employees trust that they and their colleagues will be treated fairly, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or age, they are:
- 9.6 x more likely to look forward to going to work
- 6.3 x more likely to have pride in their work
- 5.4 x more likely to want to stay longer at their company
For black workers specifically, the data are striking. According to a study published by Valence and Russell Reynolds Associates in 2021, Black talent in tech move between companies every 3.5 years in order to advance, compared to 5.1 years on average for their non-Black peers. The retention discrepancy is even more pronounced for those just starting their careers. On average, Black tech talent stays at each company for 2 years, while their non-Black peers stay for 4.5 years.
DEI is Better for Every Employee
The benefits of a diverse workforce are not exclusive to diverse employees. For example, studies suggest that having more women in management roles is a crucial ingredient to fostering a more supportive work environment and increasing employee wellbeing for all workers.
In fact, McKinsey found that both male and female employees are more likely to report that female managers provided them with emotional support, checked on their overall wellbeing, or helped navigate work-life challenges.
How to Encourage a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
Once you’ve committed to fostering more diversity, equity, and inclusion in your business, the next step is building this priority into your business practices and procedures.
According to BetterUP these are six key ways to improve overall diversity in the workplace:
- Be location inclusive. Consider sourcing talent from new locations whether through remote work, opening new offices, or outsourcing to areas you otherwise wouldn’t be able to utilize.
- Focus on company culture. Be empathetic and inclusive.
- Create a diversity hiring strategy: Be innovative and break your hiring pattern.
- Develop diverse talent. Find new ways to lift people up within your company.
- Be vocal about your diversity and inclusion. Attract more candidates by celebrating diversity as one of your company’s values.
- Measure results. Report on diversity statistics and get feedback from your employees so you can continuously improve efforts.
To advance opportunities for Black tech talent in particular, Jobs for the Future cites some of the most successful strategies:
- Investing more fully in recruitment, hiring and internal mobility efforts
- Supporting efforts to increase Black representation on the boards of tech companies
- Increasing support for Black tech founders
- Providing opportunities for mentorship and sponsorship
- Creating professional learning communities that allow Black technologists to develop the career capital and professional connections needed to thrive
Choose a Diverse Business Partner
At Tek Experts, we are committed to a culture of diversity, equity & inclusion and creating a safe, accessible, and supportive work environment. We foster equal opportunities for learning and career growth across the company.
Tek Experts’ remarkable talent is a key component of our success, and we know that diversity is better for our team and the clients we serve. That’s why we invest heavily in skilling and upskilling our incredibly diverse workforce so they can learn from the best in the tech industry. This has enabled us to rapidly scale our operations and employ more than 6000 people in 12 countries around the globe.
For more information about the importance of DEI in your technology company download our Diversity and Inclusion in the Tech Industry eBook.