A lot of things have changed in the past year. Remote work, digital acceleration, and a whole bunch of new developments in technology have all changed the way we approach business and the tech industry itself. Practically every company in the world knows the value of embracing custom technology solutions and many have adopted a strong commitment to innovation. However, as we move forward in this journey, we must all remember our role in building a more inclusive digital economy.
For those unaware, the digital economy is exactly what it sounds like: a society that builds economic value on top of digital solutions. Thanks to the miracle of hyperconnectivity, our digital economy has been growing at increasingly fast rates for a few years now. People, businesses, devices, data, and processes are more tech-driven than ever before.
All of that has set us on a path towards a skyrocketing of tech jobs in the following months and years, which is why I believe that now is the perfect time for governments and businesses to invest in diversity. And I say all of this coming from a company that has been thriving on diverse teams for over a decade. Here’s what you can do about it.
The Big Picture
The lack of diversity in the tech industry isn’t news to anyone. Let’s take a look at some stats: according to Google’s 2020 Diversity Report, in 2019, 73% of Google’s tech employees were men, 5.5% were Latin, and only 3.5% were Black. Similarly, other tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook have less than 30% female tech employees. And, in the industry as a whole, women, Black, and Latin employees continue to be vastly underrepresented across the board.
To integrate a more diverse workforce into the digital economy, we must identify and deconstruct the barriers that make tech jobs less accessible to large groups of people. And I’m not talking about pledges or scholarship programs—I am talking about a change of mindset and strategy in how you approach tech talent.
Expand Your Talent Strategy
For starters, you can try working on your candidacies. People should feel welcome when reading your job posts, from title and description to the fine print. It’s also important to state your commitment to unbiased hiring, as it makes you more likely to completely ignore characteristics like gender, age, educational background, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and leads you to a more diverse hiring process. And, if possible, you can get Psychometrics and AI involved to step it up a notch.
While things like that are always great, there’s one thing bringing lots of new diverse hiring opportunities to the tech industry: remote work. Though it’s nothing new, the way the world thinks and understands remote work has changed drastically with the pandemic. In fact, distributed collaboration technologies have improved so much that several companies have made headlines by giving permanent remote work opportunities to their employees. But the benefits go way beyond that.
Most of the time, local talent pools are simply not big enough to cover the tech talent demand of all the companies in the area. Hiring remote workers lets you bypass this issue completely and spread a wider net that opens you up to a world of possibilities. Having worked with remote teams for quite some time now, I can assure you diversity is simply unavoidable for us.
Talk About It. A lot.
The time to talk about diversity in tech is now. While it is true that the topic is as relevant as it has ever been, the things we say about it won’t be enough until we achieve an inclusive digital economy. As such, I argue that it is necessary for you and every company hiring tech workers to make diversity part of their core business message.
Strategies and actions to improve diversity will always be different for each company, but talking about it and putting it at the forefront of the industry makes diversity speech more visible and more empowering for underrepresented communities. Not only does this attract more diverse talent, but it also helps us set a stronger standard for diversity.
Talking about your commitment to diversity also helps with the inner parts of your business. At the very least, communicating an honest commitment to diversity will give your staff the confidence and flexibility to share their differences, leading to new learnings and new potentials. We actually talked a lot about that in this article, so take a look at it.
It’s In All of Our Hands
We’re in the middle of unprecedented growth in the tech industry and the number of job positions in tech keeps increasing. This represents a huge opportunity for all companies that are hiring to commit to stronger diversity initiatives and bring down the terrible diversity stats we’ve all been carrying for years. The digital economy of tomorrow needs to be better, and we can certainly make it better. Even if tomorrow we’ll probably need to keep doing more to reach a truly inclusive environment, following this win-win path is always the right thing to do.