How Can Diversity Within The Technology Sector Be Increased?
Employment opportunities within the technology industry have recently expanded significantly, yet organisations operating within this field are continuing to struggle with increasing diversity in their workforces. Perhaps more than any other sector, the world of tech has seen huge disparities in both gender and racial balance. Yet, if gender and ethnic diversity could be improved within this industry, organisations could benefit from enormous economic opportunities that would bring the sector huge financial advantages. So, how can employers meet the challenge of increasing diversity in this industry?
Tackling Unconscious Biases
The first step is to look for unconscious biases within the team. This will remove discrimination and judgements among the workforce. It is discrimination that deters underrepresented groups and female candidates from entering this sector, so when it is recognised and removed from organisations it allows for a more positive workplace for employees who come from these groups.
A key area in which unconscious bias is often found is within the process of recruitment. It’s all too easy to judge and form opinions of individuals from the moment they enter the room. However, this often leads to hiring employees who are very similar to those already working for the company and can potentially lead to hiring the incorrect candidates. Training programmes, provision of support groups and blind recruitment screening can all help to tackle unconscious bias.
Supporting people who have been taking a break from their careers but who still have the necessary knowledge and skills to benefit the company couldn’t be more important. Women frequently take career breaks to raise their families, and when they are ready to return to the technology sector they struggle to do so due to being overlooked. Introducing the concept of returnships is an excellent way of supporting these skilled workers who want to come back to the organisation. The provision of returner programmes is actually more efficient and effective than hiring and training unskilled new candidates. Returners have many years of experience in the industry, and it is far more cost-effective to help them brush up their skills than to hire a complete newcomer who requires training from scratch. By implementing mentoring programmes, it also becomes possible to increase diversity within leadership roles.
By implementing more opportunities to learn on the job within the organisation, companies can broaden their talent pool. Supporting people from diverse groups who are keen to undertake an apprenticeship is a cost-effective solution.
Ensuring Equal Pay For All
After companies were forced in 2018 to reveal their gender pay gaps it was recognised for the first time how unequal the balance between women’s and men’s salaries was. Companies that adjust pay scales so men and women working in similar roles earn similar amounts significantly increase diversity in the technology field. By making a public announcement that the organisation is dedicated to closing any gender pay gaps, more diverse groups of candidates come forward to join the company. Organisations can therefore attract more applicants and will be better able to retain existing employees. When men and women in the organisation receive equal bonuses, diverse employees will be attracted and retained due to their equal opportunities for growth.
Aiming For Inclusivity
Only a small percentage of technology roles are currently filled by ethnically diverse candidates. When organisations ensure everyone within their workforce has a voice as well as the opportunity for their opinions to be heard, diversity can be increased significantly. When companies create resource groups, a more diverse group of employees can be more easily retained.
Employers can also improve their workers’ attitudes towards diversity and inclusion by providing employees with goal-setting and perspective-taking exercises. These allow employees to set diversity-related goals, like challenging any inappropriate comments and imagining that they are in another person’s shoes.
By following these suggestions, organisations within the tech sector can improve diversity and inclusion within their workforces and reap all of the advantages that come with a wider variety of employees from a broader spectrum of backgrounds.