Nurturing and retaining diverse talent in Technology and Digital

09 Aug, 2022
By Melanie Ross

It’s no secret that the tech and digital industries have been male-dominated in the past, and that this continues to influence perception of these sectors. 

 

According to a study by PwC, only 27% of female students they surveyed said they would consider a career in technology, and only 3% of those young women said tech was their first choice, compared to 61% of males. But among many of the big players across many industries efforts are being made to change this perception – and rightly so!

Professional services organisation Deloitte  has a number of schemes aimed at addressing the complicated gender gap in tech, including:

- Supporting CodeFirst:Girls: a group that teaches web development to women between the ages of 18-23 years old to try and encourage more young girls to pursue careers in IT and digital

- Supporting Salesforce Supermums: a programme that trains and supports mothers on their journey to becoming certified Salesforce professionals and is aimed at tackling issues surrounding equality, women in tech and unemployment after having a child

- Founding Ada, the National College for Digital Skills based in London: Ada aims for half of students to be women and half to come from low-income backgrounds

Diversity and inclusion needs to be more than a 'tick-box' exercise for HR functions. Tech leaders should aim to embed diversity and inclusion into every hiring initiative and team structure.

What is diversity and inclusion and why is it important?

At its core, use of the term diversity is acknowledging the benefit of a range of viewpoints when making decisions and creating a workforce that is representative of many perspectives and of the potential customer base of your organisation. Inclusion means creating an environment where these differences are valued and nurtured to create a workplace where all employees feel that they belong, that they have a voice and that they can reach their full potential.

Diversity and inclusion are often discussed in terms of race and gender parity. However, it’s a bigger issue than just these two categories. Any discussion of diversity and inclusion needs to include disability, neurodiversity, LGBTQ and cultural and socio-economic diversity, among many others. Some bigger organisations, such as tech leader Dell, have put into place specific hiring strategies for neurodivergent job seekers. Other major players, like Starbucks, have developed relationships with job search engines specifically targeted to help disabled people find inclusive employers.

These companies have found that there are a host of benefits to widening diversity and fostering inclusivity in their companies; ranging from higher productivity and lower staff turnover to an improved reputation amongst customers - and even greater profitability!

6 benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace tech and digital leaders can’t ignore

  • It attracts the best talent

By expanding your recruitment strategies to include a wider pool of candidates you increase the likelihood of finding the best person for the job. A diverse workplace is also now an important consideration for incoming candidates which can improve your offer acceptance rate.

  • It creates a more innovative, creative workforce

Diverse teams can offer a greater variety of perspectives and when confronted with issues solve problems more efficiently and flexibly.

  • Lower staff turnover

Employees that feel included, valued and nurtured have better morale and are less likely to look elsewhere. They’ll also perform better and more productively.

  • Greater profits and lower costs

All that problem solving, innovation and lower hiring costs adds up to greater productivity and profitability.

  • Boosts your brand reputation

Increased diversity connects you to your employees, customers, local communities, the global marketplace and builds goodwill

  • Build a better product

With diverse viewpoints at all levels of the design, build and testing stages products will be stronger, more profitable and, above all, more likely to appeal to the needs of their intended user base.

How to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace

- Pay attention to unconscious biases. Everyone has unconscious biases, however, it's important to recognise them in order to address them. Implement training strategies to help you and your teams understand bias and how to go about tackling it.

- Keep internal and external communications free of discriminatory language. Words have power. Careless language, however unintentional, can make people feel unprotected or worse - at risk.

- Leverage technology to improve accessibility and inclusion. Tech can help make our workplaces more inclusive. Make sure all your employees have access to the tools they need to work effectively.

- Diversify your recruitment strategy at all levels. Look to improve the diversity at all levels -including the executive level - to signal company-wide change.

 

How can Energize help recruit diverse digital and tech talent?

Energize has extensive knowledge of how to implement a recruitment strategy tailored to diversify talent pools and create inclusive job adverts, interview practices and onboarding processes. We can help you create truly diversity and inclusion-led recruitment strategies to ensure you’re attracting a diverse talent pool. From job advert language assessment, to supporting and nurturing established women in your organisation, we can support your organisation to readdress any gender imbalance in tech and digital.

Providing you with the best-possible recruitment experience is what drives us. We pioneered service standardisation within the recruitment industry via our implementation of Net Promoter Score®, and through our continual pursuit of customer excellence, customers choose Energize time and again, forming lasting relationships and enjoying a more effective – and successful – hiring process. With a global network of more than one million active and passive candidates cultivated over 14 years of recruitment expertise, Energize empowers organisations to access high-value local talent supported by specialist Consultants experienced in scaling businesses with the experts they need. 

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