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Before 2020, many businesses were already making the shift into remote work, and awareness around mental wellbeing and championing employee experience over productivity rose.
However, particular areas of this “workplace revolution” are taking a little longer than we would like – the tech industry’s openness to hiring and championing diverse talent being one of them. Although many workplaces are more flexible than ever before, hiring processes continue to trail behind in innovation.
Here’s why your tech hiring teams need to focus on improving DE&I, plus four actionable ways to achieve more diverse, equal, and inclusive tech teams.
Step 1. Include all 13 areas of diversity when goal setting
When you’re working on recruitment goals and benchmarks with your human resources team, try to include and be aware of all 13 areas of diversity. It can be easy to aim for the obvious, but you have the power to aim for it all.
Accessing Diverse Tech Talent
Despite big tech companies reporting on diversity in the workplace since 2014, we’ve seen painfully slow progress here. Facebook’s tech workforce, for example, black employees have made up just 3.8% of their technical workforce over the last six years. In addition, their female tech staff saw a marginally larger increase from 15% -23% from 2014-2019.
What’s more, diversity comes in many forms, from race to ethnicity, to behavioral traits, geographical locations, and disabilities – all of which can contribute to the complexity of ensuring diverse tech teams if not taken into account. However, most of these areas are barely accounted for in most diversity reports, but there are ways you can mitigate bias by using data to streamline your hiring processes.
It’s important to remember that candidates, employees, and stakeholders are now hyper-aware of your businesses’ diversity efforts — and it’s essential that hiring teams are too. Thanks to remote hiring software, hiring teams now have the ability to reach a much larger and much more diverse pool of candidates.
Read more like this: Why Tech Teams Need To Be More Diverse & Inclusive Than Ever Before.
Step 2. Beat the payscale reports
Identify if your company is paying people fairly on a global scale. Dive into salaries across the board and make sure everyone receives equitable remuneration for their role within the business. If you discover you’re not paying fairly, own up to it, and bring those lower salaries up to meet the mark.
The Role of Equity in Workplace Bias
Despite striving for more diverse workforces, equity, the “E” in DE&I efforts is an often overlooked area of diversity initiatives. Just because we have access to a more diverse talent pool doesn’t mean we should exploit that talent due to geographical diversity — or any other factor.
A 2021 report by Payscale showed that gender equality in the workplace is still not where it should be. Women are still earning less than men for doing the same role and having the same (or higher) level of education.
Although the tech industry certainly isn’t the worst for the gender pay gap, it’s far from equal. And unfortunately, it’s not looking any better for the racial pay gap either.
Despite the general doom and gloom around some of the statistics regarding DE&I in the industry, some tech companies are paving the way for diversity in engineering. It’s clear that we’re ready for our technologies and ways of working to advance, but now DE&I initiatives need to catch up as well.
Step 3. Introduce inclusivity training
We can’t immediately expect people to be inclusive; even that action is not being inclusive of others and their cultural upbringing. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t coach our workforce to be more inclusive people.
It’s time to flesh out an inclusivity team and initiative. You can do this internally or outsource consultants, but bring inclusivity training as part of employee onboarding and all current staff.
Why Inclusivity Improves Employee Retention
Data shows that diverse workforces outperform those that are not. But we cannot expect employees to be ready to tackle these challenges without proper training and awareness. Being inclusive takes practice and effort, the same as any other emotional intelligence skill. It’s something that needs to be taught, tweaked, and practiced.
Inclusivity is learned from culture, and if we can define an inclusive culture in our workplace and practice that culture with our employees, we will begin to foster inclusive people. But, it starts with decision-makers and leaders.
Beyond the screening, hiring, and onboarding phases, inclusion is the leading principle of retaining diversity in your workforce. You can be making every effort possible to hire and build a diverse workforce, but if you’re not including these employees, they will leave. So, include everyone in the company culture, and you can build, retain, and thrive with a diverse team.
Step 4. Report on DE&I
It’s down to your leadership team whether they want to publicly or internally report these metrics, but it’s so critical that you do. Face the truths, embrace the success, and keep striving to outshine yourself. When you start reporting, you can start optimizing.
Remember, if we are as forward-thinking in our actions as we are with our words and our tech, then this new era of hiring and team building is a loaded springboard into a more diverse, equal, and inclusive working world.
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