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Diversify, Diversify, Diversify...

We talked a bit last time about the struggles of the tech industry to be inclusive when it comes to building out their teams with women and minorities. Whether due to hiring based on the "best fit" for a company's culture or a lack of effort to change hiring methods, minority and female employees are severely underrepresented. Black and Latino workers make up only 5% of the tech workforce, and women comprise only 24%.

Awareness of the issue should bring change to the industry, but companies must first trudge through acknowledgment of their unconscious bias.

How can changes be made in an industry that has a well-established homogeneous history? There are ways!

What can be done about it from the candidate side?

Hold companies accountable. Ask them about their diversity efforts, question them on their hiring practices, and demand that the process of hiring for "company culture" is updated to actually reflect modern culture.

Don't assume. Just because an employer appears to be a boys club doesn't mean they aren't trying to expand their team on the diversity front. Show them that any preconceived notions about the capabilities of a minority in this field are wrong, and that they'd be doing themselves a great disservice to turn you away.

What can companies do?

Establish blind hiring practices. Have the names removed from job applications – if you don't have a system capable of this, incorporate a step before the hiring manager where someone fields the responses and removes names before passing on.

Address implicit bias head on. Larger companies have either been developing their own bias-busting training or bringing in outsiders to conduct workshops and attack implicit bias head on. Many people don't believe themselves to be biased until training opens their eyes to how ingrained it is already. Exposing the abundance of bias is the first step towards remedying an industry-wide problem.

Expand your recruitment efforts. When companies come to college campuses to recruit, for example, Hispanic and black candidates are more likely to attend a workshop for resume writing or interview preparation than they are to show up for an information session. Tailor your search process to be inclusive of all culture's professional tendencies and you might not miss out on your next great employee.

Make it a priority. The reasoning behind many managers lack of initiative in increasing diversity is simple: 41% say they don't have the time. Or, rather, they can't make the time. Big change won't happen overnight, so make efforts to put diversity at the top of the To Do pile, or schedule in some planning.

Look at the research. Ethically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to earn above-average revenue, and gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to do so. A team that is diverse brings together a different set of skills, perspectives, outlooks, and problem solving.

An industry so focused on innovation should push for fresh ideas and pay attention to the creative thinking that can be done by a team who doesn't bring the same ideas and life experiences to the table. Diversifying tech will only continue to bring out the best in everyone.

https://www.bustle.com/p/men-named-john-outnumber-women-in-positions-of-power-across-multiple-fields-according-to-analysis-from-the-new-york-times-8901521

https://www.bustle.com/p/men-are-more-likely-to-attribute-biological-differences-to-womens-abilities-in-the-workplace-according-to-a-recent-study-7785183

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/04/24/upshot/women-and-men-named-john.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&auth=login-smartlock&mtrref=undefined

https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/why-cant-silicon-valley-solve-its-diversity-problem

https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/22/why-achieving-diversity-in-tech-requires-firing-the-industrys-cultural-fit-mentality/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenhuet/2015/11/02/rise-of-the-bias-busters-how-unconscious-bias-became-silicon-valleys-newest-target/#3fe6bb3319b5

http://bigthink.com/brandon-weber/the-glass-ceiling-redux-how-the-name-john-is-sometimes-the-only-ticket-you-need

https://www.wired.com/story/computer-science-graduates-diversity/

https://resources.workable.com/blog/diversity-in-the-workplace

Posted: 5/15/2018 1:31:07 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments