5 ways Diversity and Inclusion benefit your tech company
Diversity and Inclusion, also commonly referred to as “D&I” are the two buzzwords that we see the HR leaders talk about proactively. But what’s the significance of it – especially in scenarios where top-notch tech talent is difficult to find? Is it something that HRs do just to keep themselves busy and meet the compliance requirements or it has something way more important that affects the signal most important goal of your business, i.e. growth?
A report from McKinsey reveals that diverse companies perform better, hire better talents, have more engaged employees, and retain workers better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion. Yet, historically the participation of minority groups like the Blacks stands below 9% in STEM jobs and below 30% in computer-related fields as per this Pew Research report from April 2021.
Though we created Skillspace.ai to reduce bias in hiring and make assessments skill-based, not all industry leaders are aware of how important diversity is in tech workplaces. In this article, we discuss five reasons that illustrate how diversity is important for technology companies.
1. Diversity and Inclusion directly impacts your products over time
There is often a bias in decision-making in the workplace due to a lack of diversity and inclusion. This impacts technology-related decisions, breadth of innovation, and to top it all, the quality of your products down to the granular level. Due to the fact that technologies are not neutral, a lot of human bias can be transferred to machines. There are several examples, including this one from Amazon’s hiring team where their tech hiring tool had to be scrapped as it was found to be biased towards men. This Time Magazine’s publication articulates it aptly by saying that it’s becoming increasingly clear just how important it is to have broader representation in the design, development, deployment, and governance in the case of engineering and AI. The underrepresentation of certain groups not only makes product decisions biased but can also render algorithms useless, leading to sub-optimal results over the long term.
2. Customers want to connect with diverse organizations
As per LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018, 49% of employers admit equal opportunity is one of the keys to representing their clients better. And it’s not difficult to understand why.
Due to technological advancements, you can interact with customers from around the world. If you’re a technology company, you’ll likely find that your customers are a diverse bunch of individuals from a range of backgrounds, including race, religion, sexual orientation, social status, and a few other factors. With a diverse workforce, you can interact and build strong relationships with a broader range of customers.
Customer service that is truly effective is rooted in empathy, because it is people who reach out to other people, and customers crave this kind of authenticity in their interactions with brands. As a result of the different backgrounds and thought processes they provide, diverse teams understand different segments of the market and have the potential to open new markets. The ability to understand different cultures also provides companies with the opportunity to gain a larger customer base. In the end, it all comes down to the ability to understand our customers better.
3. Compliance mandates Diversity at the workplace
You may have to comply with different laws depending on where you are and how big your company is.
In the US, federal laws set out anti-discrimination legislation that governs all employers. Additional laws are enacted at the state and local levels. EEOC is the main body in charge of enforcing federal discrimination laws. These regulations apply in every work situation; for example when employers hire, terminate, compensate, promote and train employees. With 15 employees or more, most companies must comply with equal employment opportunity laws such as Title VII, EPA, ADEA, ADA, and GINA.
State laws can also be added to the mix. For example, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act 2000 bans sexual orientation discrimination. EEOC lawsuits on unlawful employment practices can also be brought in federal court.
In the case of Europe, the Council of Europe requires all EU members to have an equal opportunities agency similar to the EEOC. Among other things, this agency is supposed to assist discrimination victims, conducts surveys, publishes reports, and exchanges information with corresponding bodies in other EU member states, such as institutes for gender equality.
4. Potential hires look for Diversity at tech companies
Another advantage of diversity is that it makes recruiting individuals easier. There is an obvious point here – if there is an untapped talent pool where there are few opportunities for employment in a talent community, you will be able to find a candidate who is more likely to convert from there. Further, discovering hidden prodigies becomes much easier when you have the right tools on hand that help you evaluate talent objectively at scale without any bias.
Investing in diversity initiatives has multiple benefits for your talent acquisition strategy. In addition to discovering great talent from minority groups, you also benefit your campaign overall.
According to a Glassdoor survey, 67% of people consider diversity to be a key factor in deciding where to work. In this PWC survey, 85% of millennial women state that their employers’ policies on diversity, equality, and workforce inclusion are important when deciding whether or not to work there. The talent pool wants companies that are diverse, so having such programs can be a way to build an edge in a highly competitive market.
5. Remote work culture has made diversity hiring easier and there’s an opportunity for you.
The extreme geographic concentration of tech companies has historically made it difficult for this industry to attract, recruit, and retain talent from a vast pool of candidates.
Approximately 75 percent of venture capital funding in the United States is concentrated in three states – New York, California, and Massachusetts. In India, there are around 80 unicorns, and Bengaluru alone is home to more than 45% of the country’s unicorns. Less than 12% of unicorns are based outside Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, or Bengaluru.
When tech companies hire outside of these regions, it is harder to convince recruits from different regions of the country – especially those from underrepresented groups – to relocate.
Now that so many businesses are operating remotely, employees no longer need to be within driving distance of their homes. With remote-first hiring initiatives at top tech companies, talent has more options and opportunities than ever before. Hence, if the business encourages diversity and inclusion, then when it comes to finding new talent, hiring managers and TA teams have more to choose from. In short, it will not be about recruiting individuals who look a certain way or have a certain pedigree, but about focusing on the skills they can offer and contribute to the organization. It will accelerate the business growth because only the best talent will be hired who’ll give life to your product vision.
In a nutshell, you should have the correct technical assessments tool, ATS, and sourcing platforms. You should ensure reduced bias, integrity in the hiring process, and diversity in the workplace. This would also make you compliant to equal opportunity guidelines like Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), etc.
How does Skillspace.ai help in Diversity Hiring in Tech?
While the solution for diversity and inclusion involves many variables, Skillspace.ai ensures that it eliminates the unconscious bias that adds to skewed diversity numbers. It is an end-to-end technical assessments platform that allows companies to eliminate bias during the hiring process and test candidates purely based on technical competency.
Register for the platform here or schedule a demo with the Skillspace.ai team to quickly address your questions.