Many tech companies publish regular updates about their diversity efforts. Such data often shows slow-but-steady progress when it comes to bringing more employees from all backgrounds into the corporate fold. But how do the employees themselves feel about their prospects once they’ve signed with a particular firm? Do they think they have equal opportunity to actually succeed?
It’s an interesting question, and one that Blind (which anonymously surveys technologists on a broad range of issues) recently threw out to its audience. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being “disagree strongly” and 5 being “strongly agree), technologists were asked to rate a straightforward question: “People from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to succeed at my company.”
Based on 10,000 responses, Blind came up with a list of the top companies for equal opportunity. Here it is:
While crowdsourcing isn’t always the most scientific method of data collection, it’s interesting to note that these companies cover a wide range of industries (including Bank of America, which is obviously much more of a finance company than a tech company). If you want to take an optimistic perspective on it, that suggests a lot of executives are doing something right when it comes to crafting internal opportunities for employees.
“Conscious or unconscious stereotypes can lead to biased decisions, preventing organizations from hiring, developing, and promoting the best talent,” is how Blind described the results in its blog. “While a couple of the FAANG and tech companies made the list, some more traditional firms also earned their spot in the ranking. Tech companies typically have the reputation of being progressive and adaptable. Still, finance companies like Bloomberg and Bank Of America have adapted and evolved to create equal opportunities.”
Within the tech industry as a whole, though, there’s a lot of ground that needs to be covered. For example, this summer’s Dice Sentiment Survey showed that roughly 40 percent of technologists’ companies hadn’t made any internal and/or external gestures of support toward diversity movements. At the same time, progress in diversifying the workforces at some of the largest tech companies has been very incremental. Google’s portion of Black employees only climbed from 1.9 percent to 3.7 percent between 2014 to 2020, to cite one instance.
For managers and team leaders at all levels, data such as this new Blind study should provide some motivation to ensure that all technologists feel there are opportunities out there for them, no matter what their background or specialization. Fortunately, many companies seem hyper-aware of the work that needs to be done to ensure greater equality.