Diversity in the tech sector is still lagging behind, despite the US tech industry being worth $1.8 trillion dollars and employing roughly 12 million people. The latest industry statistics for diversity in the tech industry, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) are shocking.
Women currently hold less than a quarter of computing jobs, a figure actually in decline since 2003. And it’s not just gender diversity: ethnic diversity figures are even more dire, with only 8.1% of jobs going to people of colour.
With the number of startups created a year increasing by 2.4% in the UK alone from 2019-2020 (according to recent numbers by the Centre for Entrepreneurs), the tech industry is in prime position to lead the charge when it comes to creating a blueprint for the future of the workplace.
So how do you ingrain diversity into the fabric of your company from the start?
- Consider inclusivity not just diversity: you can’t have a truly diverse culture without embedding inclusivity in the mix: inclusivity is to diversity as eggs are to pancakes. Diversity is about representation and inclusivity brings the differences together. Inclusivity is about breaking down silos and barriers to creating a truly diverse culture that permeates the entire organization.
- Recruit diverse talent from the start: hiring women and ethnically diverse talent from the start sets the tone for the diversity building blocks of your organization. A 2019 survey by KPMG found that 70% of men think their company is already doing enough on gender diversity but only half of women agree. Employing diverse talent from the start prevents complacency, creates lasting momentum for future hires and ensures the business grows in the right direction.
- Hiring practices: when identifying talent from a large pool of applicants, it’s easy to inadvertently screen out talent based on education and employment history (this is true even when using AI tools). Bring awareness to implicit and conscious biases at all steps of the process.
- Scaling a diverse culture: beyond just building diversity, scaling culture requires mobilizing the appropriate tools and resources to ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace are sustained across the organization. The challenge with global and increasingly remote teams means organizations will need to work harder to ensure everyone is singing from the same hymn.
Whilst technology itself can’t create a healthy culture, ensuring leadership teams have the right tools at their disposal can help build a culture of transparency and trust that permeates throughout the entire organization as it scales.
Neta Meidav is co-founder and CEO of Vault Platform, the trusttech company disrupting workplace misconduct reporting and resolution. Neta worked as a senior adviser to the UK Government for over ten years and is a knowledgeable resource on solutions to the problem of harassment and bullying in the workplace.