How to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in Tech Companies
A diverse, equitable, and inclusive company is a successful company. Enhancing diversity and inclusion in your workplace goes beyond maintaining gender balance or hiring BIPOC employees. Instead, it entails weaving genuine inclusivity into your organizational culture and building a diverse team where every member is trusted, empowered and involved.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been pressing issues in workplaces across all sectors for some time, but the tech industry, mainly, has seen slow progress in this space. Please keep reading to understand the importance of diversity in tech and to learn how leaders can improve diversity and foster inclusivity in their teams.
The Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce for Tech Companies
Maintaining a diverse and inclusive team benefits your organization in the following ways:
- Different perspectives: A diverse team comprises staff with vast skills, backgrounds, and attributes to deliver different perspectives when designing and fulfilling company strategies.
- Faster problem-solving: Highly diversified teams can solve problems better and faster than their less diverse counterparts.
- Improved creativity: Different perspectives can significantly increase your team's overall creativity and ability to think differently.
- Better decisions: Workspace diversity directly impacts the quality of decision-making, forcing all team members to question their assumptions.
- Better company reputation: Diversity-oriented companies are recognized as being socially conscious and more attractive employers, ultimately contributing to better brand identity or reputation
- Better returns: Diversity enhances innovation and decision-making, meaning companies can enjoy better business returns and increase profitability.
7 Steps to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in Tech
There are still numerous barriers to diversity and inclusion in tech, but that doesn't mean improvements are out of reach. Implement the following solutions to cultivate a diverse, inclusive culture in your organization:
1. Offer Transparent and Equitable Wages
Managers and relevant decision-makers must level out the playing field through fair opportunities for all workers. Use analytics to identify underpaid staff or any other gaps in remuneration. Also, please take note of any trends or patterns in the underpayment of particular groups of employees, and ensure they are rectified.
2. Manage Bias
Educating your workers on potential micro-aggressions and subconscious bias can go a long way toward improving diversity. No team member wants to work in an environment where they feel undervalued for any reason inherent to their identity. Employers must eliminate any workplace behaviors that alienate or discriminate against their team members.
3. Acknowledge Holidays from Every Culture
Learn about and acknowledge a wide range of cultural and religious holidays. Leverage the company's intranet to keep track of all upcoming celebrations and be flexible and respectful of these dates in the calendar when approving vacation days or appointing time off.
4. Provide Mentorship
Women and other underrepresented groups within the tech industry can experience a lack of mentorship and role models from similar backgrounds. Working under exclusively white or male leadership can lead diverse team members to believe career progression is not an option for them at your company. Ensure a plan is in place to deliver the same level of feedback and professional development opportunities to all employees.
5. Solicit Ongoing Feedback
Encouraging team members to share feedback can help executives better understand what's happening below the surface. Pulse surveys, for instance, provide essential insights for informed and mindful decision-making while equipping you to eliminate any discrimination or bias patterns. This approach should allow for anonymous feedback, facilitating open and honest responses.
6. Diversify Your Recruitment and Human Resource Teams
If you want to improve inclusion and diversity within your organization, don't fall into the trap of limiting yourself to junior or entry-level hires. Maintaining a diverse HR and recruitment team is a great place to start. This will help reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process, provide broad points of view, and change mindsets to improve the company's approaches to diversity and inclusion.
7. Track Progress
Significant and long-lasting change doesn't happen overnight. A cultural shift requires time from making structural adjustments to implementing new workforce strategies. Make sure you set benchmarks and track your progress to determine whether you're reaching your goals and achieving continuous improvement. This way, you'll learn what's working and where you're falling short.
Diversity and Inclusion in Tech Benefits Everyone
Companies in the tech industry still have much work to do to create truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. Fortunately, the above steps can help you dismantle existing barriers within your organization to reap the benefits of a diverse team. Ready to take the next step? Empower your HR department with an IT solution that equips them to spend less time on operations and more time on people.