Dice Survey: Tech Has a Diversity and Inclusion Problem

It’s no secret that the tech industry trails significantly behind many other business sectors in its efforts to recruit, retain and support diverse workers. For example, there are half as many African-Americans and Hispanics in tech as in the rest of the private sector, and 83 percent of tech executives are still white, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

To take a closer look at this diversity and inclusion challenge, Dice connected directly with tech professionals to report on their different workplace experiences based on their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and age. From February 13 to March 30, 2018, the company surveyed U.S. and U.K. registered users and visitors of Dice.com and eFinancialCareers. A total of 3,993 professionals responded, with more than 1,200 men and 500 women completing the entire survey. Of those who completed the survey, more than 500 identified as Gen-X and 400 as Millennials.

Download Dice’s Diversity and Inclusion Report Now!

Diversity & Discrimination

The survey finds that discrimination and bias are still major problems in tech, with workers experiencing or witnessing discrimination at their current or most recent employer:

Women Absent from Leadership Positions

The diversity survey reveals that nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of U.S-based women in tech say they have had their ideas ignored until a man repeats them, and more than half report that they’re talked over/interrupted in a meeting and have been assigned low-level tasks.

Some two-thirds of the women surveyed feel that female employees are not equally represented at senior levels within their current or most recent employers. And 63 percent think nothing will change this calendar year.

LGBTQ, Gen X and Baby Boomers Face Hurdles

While 90 percent of heterosexuals are comfortable discussing their sexual orientation at work, only 66 percent of LGBTQ employees feel the same way. It’s no surprise then that 40 percent of LGBTQ individuals believe sexual orientation discrimination exists in the workplace.

Age discrimination is a significant issue, too, with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers hit hardest by ageism. Around 68 percent of Baby Boomers and 40 percent of Gen Xers reported feeling discouraged to apply for jobs due to age. And, a whopping 80 percent of 46–49-year-old tech pros feel deeply concerned about their age impacting their career.

Discrimination Suppresses Pipelines

For the last few years, the hard reality has been that we lack enough qualified candidates to fill the emerging jobs in tech. And the problem is only going to get worse. When both men and women see gender discrimination at work, they are far less likely to refer female friends and colleagues to the company. Since 40 percent of women have experienced discrimination and bias in the workplace, it makes sense that those experiences have led to a decline in job referrals.

Bridging the Diversity Divide

When a balance of all genders, ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds work side-by-side in tech, research shows, the perspectives and creativity gained often results in significant improvements to the business bottom line. Understanding the experiences of everyone in tech can help inform the ways employers recruit candidates for the highest productivity, most significant business returns, impactful product and services innovation, and best workplaces.

Download Dice’s Diversity and Inclusion Report Now!

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2 Responses to “Dice Survey: Tech Has a Diversity and Inclusion Problem”

  1. The problem with mandating “diversity” is that it allows HR to create artificial quotas around whatever diversity models that they want instead of looking at actual job qualifications. These quotas not only often remove the most qualified people, but make the workplace less diverse because they only hire those that fall on their diversity list

    I worked at one of the largest software companies in the world for quite a while and was told multiple times that I wasn’t given a promotion or a specific position or the appropriate raise/bonus/stock because I was a “white guy.” (Yes, the manager wanting to promote me or reward me was overruled by HR.) One of my managers informed me that HR promoted people (over managers’ objections) solely based on their diversity quotas. We often saw people completely unqualified getting hired/promoted and utterly fail at their jobs. Once, I was ordered to take over a project that had failed because of this and after I revived it and made it succeed, the former manager that failed was promoted and I didn’t get anything. Additionally, I had a (female) former manager pointedly tell me that if I was a female or a minority, I wouldn’t have been artificially held back and would have easily been a General Manager or possibly a Vice President by that time because of my abilities.

    When I was the hiring lead for our region, HR berated me because I trained my people to look at each candidate’s qualifications based on the job position instead of some arbitrary and artificial “diversity” quota. HR even reprimanded me when I refused to hire someone who I couldn’t legally hire because of federal law.

    Of course, that company is known for being ultra-progressive and is probably more “diverse” than most other places. While I think that any company has the right to hire/fire for any reason whatsoever, including not hiring me because I’m a “white guy,” I do think that they need to be more truthful about what they’re actually doing. If they want to discriminate for or against something, then be open and honest about it. They shouldn’t state that they don’t discriminate in their official policy, but in reality take extreme measures to do just that.

    • I’ve never seen someone not get a promotion or job because they are white. In my experience with the 3 tech companies I’ve worked nepotism is the bigger problem.

      I saw 3 guy who literally were security guards get hired to work on help desk (no degree or certs). Then a year later get promoted to management positions, one on the help desk, the other in server ops.