We know that tech has a diversity problem. It’s an
industry that has famously struggled (and often failed) to attract
women. But why does it matter, and what can we all do to tackle it?
If diversity promotes innovation then it’s hugely important for an
industry built on transforming the status quo. And diversity is so much
more than the right thing to do. It’s vital for any tech organisation
that wants to outshine the competition. Research compiled by the Harvard Business Review
shows that diverse teams are not only smarter, they are more
successful. Diversity shouldn’t be an aim for the tech and wider STEM
community. It has to be the new normal.
The tech industry has never been more important. We are living
through a digital revolution. One that has transformed how we live and
work. But if the technology that is changing our lives is developed by a
limited set of people then our most innovative and creative industry
will inevitably lack vision. There will be limited diversity of thought.
None of the blending of experience that creates tech that works for
everyone. We are all part of our digital future. So, why aren’t we all
involved in making it?
It’s a big question, and one tech companies around the world are
trying to answer. We’ve brought together some of the changes that could
create a more inclusive tech picture, below.
Promote Early STEM Interest
It’s really tough to tackle the tech problem at a graduate level.
You’ve already lost so much of your potential audience by then. It needs
to be much earlier. With programs designed to interest kids in the
technology and digital tools that are building the future. From coding
classes to partnering with community programs working to get more women
into STEM. Reaching out and normalising STEM subjects from an early age
can have a ripple effect up the talent pipeline.
Tackle Unconscious Bias
Many of the issues around diversity in tech flow from unconscious
bias at both a cultural and personal level. Unconscious bias refers to
those unconscious stereotypes – both positive and negative- that we use
to categorise and think about the people around us. From the images and
words used to advertise a role to the unconscious assumptions of
interviewers, managers, and leaders. This can be a tough habit to
unlearn, but with engaging training programs, smart screening processes,
and an ongoing commitment to inclusivity, it can be overcome.
Make Diversity an Organisational Goal
Diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords for organisations.
So, it’s important to make sure that there is real momentum behind any
drive to transform the diversity of your workforce. Commit to diversity
and shout about it. Make diversity a C-Suite level issue and set
measurable targets to chart success. In other words, make sure it’s at
the heart of who you are and what you do. It’s important to remember
that diversity is more than a change in numbers and people, it’s a
complete cultural shift.
Create Diverse Boardrooms
It’s important for candidates entering the sector and students
still in education to see successful people they can identify with in
the tech industry. This means creating boardrooms that have a breadth of
experiences. And it’s not just the boardroom where the right blend of
people can have a positive impact. Diverse talent acquisition teams and
interview panels can also help to attract a wider range of people into
As tech recruiters, employers, and industry insiders, we all have a responsibility to make the tech world a more diverse place.
Contact me today on 0203 757 038 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, to talk diversity in tech or your next candidate search.