4 Ways Top Tech Companies are Addressing Diversity and Inclusion
Tech companies across North America are continuing to see the importance of robust Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs, with a recent survey showing that 89% of prospective employees believe DEI to be a crucial aspect of work culture. During a recent event from Motion’s event series, Tech in Motion, DEI leaders from Google, LinkedIn, Avenue Code, and Re:work Training discussed some of the best ways that companies can make Diversity and Inclusion a priority. Continue reading for some of the main takeaways, or click below to watch the full event.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Starting at the Top
When it comes to building an inclusive tech team, business or organization, having diversity in leadership can be a driver of success. Ashley Jordan, VP of Operations and Strategy at Re:work training, said, “No matter what processes or practices you have in place, if you don’t have diversity and leadership in upper and middle management, employees are not going to show up entirely authentically, particularly the ones who feel like they’re not represented in leadership.”
Having diversity in upper management can also lead to establishing mentor programs inside the company, where managers and higher-level employees can meet with newer hires and establish goals for the future.
Build Surveys to Gain Information and Act on the Results
To get a better grasp of who is in your company and how to create an inclusive environment, surveys were brought up as a great tool to learn how programs are going. “Surveys are a wonderful tool,” said Lais Rodrigues, Diversity & Inclusion Analyst at Avenue Code. “I need to understand the reality of my company. I need to understand who is on my team.”
Lindiwe Davis, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader at Google added, “One of the biggest things is understanding how to hear the story that a person is trying to convey to you, because if you can hear the story, then you yourself as a leader can act upon that story.”
When done correctly, gathering this type of information also helps put leaders on the pulse of what employees are thinking and how to better work with them, as opposed to leadership making unilateral decisions. “It is antithetical to inclusion to rely on leadership’s perspective to create a prescriptive effort into what people actually need,” said Jordan.
Read More: Why Companies are Investing in Diversity within Tech for 2022
Create a Hiring System that Welcomes and Encourages Diverse Applicants
While having programs and initiatives inside a company is helpful to building a diverse and inclusive environment, equally important can be creating hiring practices and systems that allow businesses to attract and source diverse talent.
One of the steps that companies can take includes expanding what it means to be qualified. Businesses can choose to look past the typical ways candidates acquire skills and fully realize what they’re looking for in these positions. Colin Espinales, Program Manager, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at LinkedIn said, “You can’t define 'what that skill is' from 'what I’m used to knowing where that skill comes from'.” Hiring Managers should also better understand what qualifications they are looking for in certain positions. Looking for a 4-year degree with 5 years of experience for an entry-level role isn’t feasible and restricts otherwise viable candidates from joining your company. Additionally, having a number of unique voices contribute throughout the hiring process can help companies better understand the perspective of potential employees.
Read More: How to Attract and Hire Diverse Talent in Tech
Make Continuous Progress to Improve DE&I Programs
DE&I programs can be looked at as an ever-evolving, continuously growing body of work that require consistent contributions and input. As DEI continues to evolve, companies that listen and expose themselves to different cultures will create a successful environment for all employees to succeed. “Working in the DEI space can be challenging and beautiful, but it is worthwhile. If you have a team, you have a budget, and you have grit, you can do so many amazing things in your company.”
Working in the mid-to-senior level IT job industry for over 30 years, Motion Recruitment has set itself apart in the technology space by having our recruiters each specialize in a specific department of the tech industry, allowing them to become experts in a particular section of the IT workforce. With offices in 16 cities across the United States and Canada, Motion can help companies and candidates take the next step in the tech market. Contact us now.