As many know, October is when we recognise Black History Month in the UK. During this period, observers celebrate the achievements and contributions black individuals have made in society.
This month also presents an opportunity to recognise the need for change to promote diversity and inclusion, especially within the tech sector. It's one thing to call for more diversity. But, how much do you really know about issues of diversity in tech and how they affect your business?
This article aims to give you an overview of diversity issues in tech and how we can improve them. Before we address these issues, we first need to understand their true scope.
Diversity in Tech Statistics
In 2019, black people only made up 3 percent of the tech workforce in the UK. In the same year, only 2.6 percent of UK technology board company board members were of ethnic-minority backgrounds.
Too often, attempts to address the lack of diversity in the tech sector are sidelined or not taken into serious consideration. Many see these attempts to address this lack of representation as "nice to have." But, these attempts mean little if they don't result in change.
So why do we ignore a problem like this when it's harmful to businesses?
How a Lack of Diversity in Tech Harms Businesses
We've seen examples of how a lack of diversity in technology leads to poor customer experiences, including multiple instances of AI bias failing to recognise users with darker skin tones. We need to encourage more people of diverse backgrounds to step into technology roles to avoid missing the blind spots in tech creation and development. But it's not just in relation to product creation that there are holes. Other areas within tech like product marketing, cybercrime and tech sales would all benefit from a more richly diverse team in terms of using different viewpoints to spread nets further. Whether that's different sales and marketing campaigns to catch a greater number of customers or avoiding cybercrime from a diverse team being able to recognise differing tactics.
By driving better representation, we in turn create more diverse teams. More diverse teams are more likely to innovate more inclusive products. These products then lead to better customer experiences, and the company makes a profit as a result.
Put Effort Into Following and Retaining Talent
Many tech companies have committed to do better with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but have little to show for their efforts. Part of the problem is that companies focus too much on diversity and too little on inclusion.
Hiring diverse tech talent is only the first step in addressing the problem. After hiring diverse talent, companies then have to cultivate an inclusive environment to keep their recruits.
Hiring managers can take an active role in engaging diverse applicants when seeking to fill a job position. They can do this by undergoing unconscious bias training, by setting up multi-person interview panels made up of diverse employees, and more.
A More Inclusive Future
Diversity and inclusion in tech isn't a "nice thing to have," it's a necessity for the future of the technology industry. This month calls for celebrating black history and using this time of awareness to make changes for the better. Go forward and help to create a more diverse and inclusive environment in your workplace. There are courses and not for profit organisations that can help you understand more about the path towards improving diversity within the tech sector as a starting point.
Consortia recruit for tech companies within London, UK and wider Europe. We have a strong understanding of the technology sector and hiring processes, so for more advice on hiring and creating diverse and inclusive tech teams, contact us and we'll give you a helping hand.comments powered by Disqus