Do technologists feel their teams are diverse? According to new data from CompTIA, they don’t—and they might not know what to do about increasing diversity at their organizations.
CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2022 report found that 53 percent of technologists “believe that there is more diversity in the broader organization than within the IT department.” Only seven percent, meanwhile, thought the IT department was more diverse than their company’s broader workforce.
“Although mandatory trainings have become a cliché, there are serious issues around creating inclusive spaces, and every employee should consider themselves part of the solution,” the report added.
From a company perspective, the need for diversity is more important than ever, as many technologists have indicated they’ll leave a company that doesn’t feel diverse enough. In August, Wiley surveyed 2,030 technologists between the ages of 18 and 28, and found that 50 percent of them would potentially depart their company if the culture “made them feel uncomfortable.” Sixty-eight percent said they felt “uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or neurodevelopmental condition.”
Meanwhile, Qualtrics’ latest Employee Experience Trends Report revealed the percentage of women who intended to stay with their company dropped from 67 percent to 60 percent year-over-year (the data came from 14,000 respondents worldwide). Women managers said they didn’t have the support necessary to effectively engage with employees around critical issues such as inclusion and burnout.
“With companies competing for the same highly skilled talent, action on DEIB [public diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging] and fostering a culture of belonging will be a key differentiator,” added the Qualtrics report. “But our research shows there’s still a ways to go. Four in five (80 percent) senior leaders say their actions show they are genuinely committed to greater DEIB, while only three in five (58 percent) individual contributors say the same. Closing this gap will play a leading role in retaining people, too, making it one of the key areas of focus to get right during the Great Resignation.”
A recent study from Gartner suggests a way forward for organizations that want to boost and retain diverse workforces: an active attempt to identify the needs of different types of employees, as well as significant investment in programs to meet those employee needs.
The rise of hybrid and remote work can make this more difficult, as teams might be spread across the country or world, but managers still need to make the right investments in diversity and increase their cadence of communication with team members. “Organizations need to have a discussion about inclusivity, period. However, the transition to a hybrid way of working creates a new set of challenges to fostering employee perceptions of fairness, belonging, and trust,” Ingrid Laman, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice, told Dice.
For many companies, it’s also worth taking a hard look at recruitment and HR practices to ensure diversity of hiring. Inclusive job descriptions and an equitable hiring process can help make this happen.