The emergence of new technology requires more skilled and job-ready tech professionals from a wide variety of countries, backgrounds, and identities.
Technology jobs are created every single day. However, during recruiting and placement, many tech corporations and start-ups fail to cast a wide enough net to catch diverse talent. The tech industry, as a result, faces racial, gender, and age deficits.
Increasing inclusivity and incorporating people of various identities can provide long-term benefits for tech companies. What are the benefits, you may ask? We explore a few below.
Everybody uses technology. From kids submitting their homework on learning platforms, to the elderly looking at pictures of their grandchildren. We all rely on technology for our everyday lives.
However, not everyone is properly represented within the tech industry. The tech ecosystem’s goals of modernising and innovating create an environment of ageism. Someone in the technology sector is considered old by the time they are 35. Looking at the top tech corporations in the world (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft), only 25% of their staff is female, while only 29% of women make up staff numbers in technology in Australia.
We need everyone to be onboard in tech. When we incorporate more representation for people of all ages, genders, and colours, we ensure that their experiences are accounted for when creating and improving digital products. A diverse workforce also brings wider skillsets and more ideas to the table. Having ideas challenged by different viewpoints instigates creativity, problem-solving, and innovation.
As previously mentioned, markets lose billions of dollars when companies don’t have a diverse work environment. The root of this loss comes from lower employee productivity at such companies. Employee performance saw 12% more efficiency in organisations that had highly diverse ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and geographical backgrounds within their workforce.
Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, according to McKinsey & Company’s Diversity Matters report. Meanwhile, a report by Deloitte shows that increasing diversity in the tech workforce in Australia would grow the economy by an average of $1.8 billion each year, for the next 20 years.
Making employees feel welcomed, with accommodating policies supporting minorities and diversity, is creating the conditions for more motivated and effective teams.
The world is in a position where many more tech jobs are available than the amount of skilled people who can fill them. This tech skills shortage is preventing us from exploring the full potential of emerging technology. One of the solutions we can implement is widening our scope of tech recruiting.
Many tech companies are seeking talent primarily in the same tech hubs and epicentres, including Silicon Valley, New York City, Seattle, London, and Tel Aviv. By doing so, companies are inadvertently creating competition amidst people who have nearly identical demographic and educational backgrounds. They are losing out on highly qualified people outside of metropolitan areas. With remote work becoming the new normal, companies can source talent from a larger talent pool all around the world, and gain the advantages of diversity.
The entry ticket to tech used to require a college or university degree, something that was not easily accessible to underprivileged populations. Now, reskilling is a possibility for anyone, with or without a background in tech, in a matter of months!
For instance, CTIA is a tech training provider that works with global partners to offer reskilling and upskilling programs to tech positions relevant to local tech ecosystems. CTIA has partners in countries like Israel, where tourism, agriculture, and textiles are still the dominant industries.
The time for change is now. HR leaders and managers in corporations should be taking time to assess their core values, hiring strategies, and overall workplace culture to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are an integral component. Creating tech spaces where everyone can freely contribute is a goal every single tech company should be striving for.