Why Diversity and Inclusion in tech is important
The recent movements #metoo or #blacklivesmatter have raised awareness as to how far our communities and working environments are far from being safe, diverse, inclusive, fair and equal.
Although we are living in the 21st century, there are still major obstacles that need to be removed in order to achieve social justice and equality for all.
If you have to choose an industry that promotes diversity and inclusiveness, would you choose technology?
According to the latest available data only 25% of those working in the tech industry are women. Of those women the ethnicity rates are:
- Caucasian women 16%
- Asian Women 5%
- Black/African American Women 3%
- Latina/Hispanic Women 1%
- 21% in C-Suite roles
- Women take up fewer than 1 in 4 technical roles in GAFAM
Now, let me talk about my experience in the tech industry
I have worked across the tech industry, from small start-ups in France to corporate business in Australasia, and IT companies in Latin America. From my experience as a French caucasian cisgender woman, working in the field of technology, I have found myself in facing similar issues irrespective of geographic location and types of business. These include:
- An under-representation of women or minorities in leadership positions
- A minority of women in tech roles (generally in HR or Design positions)
- Sexist remarks and sexual harassment
- Boys club culture
- Difficulty in getting promotion or achieve progress in my career
- A lower salary than men in the same position
In order to find out if other women had experienced the same kind of discrimination, I decided to send a questionnaire on this topic to other women working in tech.
The response was similar:
“While people talk about how they embrace diversity and change, their actions don’t show it – my opinions and my ideas are often dismissed without any redress.”
“No matter how experienced I am, I am never taken seriously when I raise issues at the office. Although I am held to a higher standard than my male colleagues, my efforts are never acknowledged in the same way.”
“I do not share the same ‘credit rating’ as my male colleagues.”
The question of diversity and inclusion is a hot topic and the time has come to challenge this form of discrimination and to request results. 💪
To begin with, what is diversity?
Diversity corresponds to all aspects that differentiate groups and people:
- Sexual orientation (LGBTQ+)
- Parent/family caregiver status
- Socioeconomic background
And, what is inclusion in the workplace?
An inclusive workplace is where all the staff are treated fairly, have equal opportunities, and can contribute by being themselves in a business workplace, disregarding their differences.
Benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace environment
Now, you must wonder why diversity and inclusion are important in a tech workplace?
This is not only an ethical commitment, it is an ethical principle on which the success of your business can be based. This will:
- Enhance the capacity for innovation and creativity
- Attract the best employees
- Lower the employee turnover and increase employee satisfaction
- Vary the perspectives and workplace outlook
- Create products that reflect the consumer-base more broadly
- Generate a greater efficiency, productivity and sense of shared decision-making
- Achieve a better performance financially
- Build a better reputation for a company
What the companies must do
Each organization has to examine their actions and political culture to ensure that diversity and inclusion measures and practice are genuine and clearly understood. For a business leaders, recruiters, or hiring managers, here’s how you can improve the diversity and inclusion in your tech company.
Measure and recruit
Measuring how diverse a company actually is refers to equal pay for equal work and recruitment policy. This can be achieved by:
- Developing a pipeline of diverse talent through a proactive recruitment campaign
- Use of inclusive language and representation when writing job descriptions
- Encouraging employees to refer their connections
- Using ‘blind’ resumes to avoid bias
- Representation is broad based, diverse and inclusive
- Those in leadership positions need to be representative of a diverse society
- These tenets needs to be represented in public and private communications
In effect we need to build effective employee mentoring to develop leadership, and teach those entering the industry new skills to encourage:
- Listening – to staff by undertaking surveys, and one-on-one conversations to create a supportive environment
- Spreading awareness of the issues that women or minorities encounter in the workplace by developing education at the university level
- Creating an inclusive culture to include diverse activities other than poolroom, board games, and video consoles
- Encouraging staff to initiative events around inclusion and diversity
- Sponsorship of inclusive activities and celebration of diversity
- Creation of a budget dedicated to inclusion and diversity within a company
Interested in implementing these measures in your company?
Contact Gurvi Movement for more information on how to put these actions in place in your company.
Hi 👋 My name is Julie. I am the founder of Gurvi Movement. French by passport, world citizen by heart, I am currently based in Mexico City.
As the travel-a-holic I am, the digital nomad lifestyle has always been calling my name.
I left France 8 years ago, and since then I work and travel across the globe.