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How To Promote Diversity & Inclusion in Tech

The tech industry is shifting, though some may think the progress made is still too slow. For instance, women only make up 26.7% of tech-related jobs, according to Of those 26.7% of women in tech, white women made up the majority (12.6%), followed by Asian women (9.3%), Black women (1.7%), and Latinx women (1.5%).

Despite these numbers, many organizations are working to increase diversity and inclusion in tech. Not only because gender and racial diversity in tech is the right thing to do, but also because diversity in thinking can lead to better solutions, greater customer satisfaction, and more creative thinking. 

But also, people are paying attention. Our clients are asking for this information: How are you including diversity and inclusion in the work you work? People are choosing to partner with firms who focus on diversity and inclusion.

According to respondents of our inaugural report, The Great Acceleration, efforts to improve diversity and inclusion are working. An overwhelming majority (90%) said their organization’s efforts are improving the quality of hires, while 78% said their organization has been successful in promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech team. 

Have we completely solved the problem of gender and racial diversity in tech? No, but we’re getting there. 

While only 3% of The Great Acceleration survey respondents said less than 10% of their tech team is female, the greatest percentage went to those teams with 20% to 30% female tech team members. 

Given the increased challenge of hiring in the advent of The Great Recession and the IT skills gap, Norvell predicts more companies will focus on broadening their diversity and inclusion efforts, especially given the new hybrid workplace, which allows for a more flexible work schedule.


Positive Effects of Implementing Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are increasingly becoming a priority for many companies, especially in light of research from McKinsey which shows that companies with more ethnic and cultural diversity outperform companies with less diversity by as much as 36%.

The same McKinsey report notes that increased diversity broadens a company’s talent pool, improves decision making, increases valuable insight into a range of customers, drives employee engagement, and improves a company’s overall image. 

In early 2022, Twitter announced it had successfully boosted the proportion of Black employees at its U.S. locations from 6.9% to 9.4% in one year, as well as the proportion of Hispanic workers from 5.5% to 8%. 

How did they do this? According to their vice president of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, James Loduca, Twitter switched to a flexible work from anywhere policy. 

“We were able to hire folks in markets that we know have high populations of Black talent, markets that we know have high populations of Latinx talent,” Loduca told Foreign Policy. 

Twitter used artificial intelligence to assist in searches for qualified, remote candidates, representing a diversity of demographics. 


How Do We Improve Diversity and Inclusion in Tech?

It goes beyond creating a culture of inclusion at a company-level and even beyond working on breaking through unconscious biases that are embedded in traditional hiring practices. 

In addition to creating more flexible work environments, and targeting geographically diverse areas for hiring, hiring managers need to be cognizant of the biased language they may be including in their job descriptions. This can mean something as simple as removing gendered phrasing or being more explicit about how key skill sets are described.

There are several ways to continue to fight the lack of diversity in tech, including:

  • Replace one-on-one manager interviews with diverse panel interviews. 
  • Introduce internships and partner with minority-rich colleges and universities.
  • Unify candidate information to create a level playing field. 
  • Recruit based on talent or experience and not on relationships. That also means widening your relationship with trade schools and community colleges. 
  • Review promotions and ensure internal, diverse candidates are being afforded the opportunity to grow at the company. 

DoorDash is one company that has focused efforts on advancing the careers of women of color already employed at the startup. Through its “Elevate” program, an internal sponsorship project, they are focused on investing in internal talent. Of three cohorts, more than a third of the program's alumni have been promoted. 

While many companies, including Aditi, have embraced the concept of improving diversity and inclusion in tech, actions speak louder than words. Taking the steps to improve the diversity of your tech team can go a long way to improving your client relationships, but it can also help your company stay competitive in a tight talent market.