The pandemic has shown that people are able to work in a flexible and effective manner, whether at the office, in hybrid or WFH modes. This shift has now made it possible, on an unparalleled scale, to hire talent from all over the world. It has also meant the rise of diversity in teams. For an astounding 99%1 of the Gen Z generation, a diverse and inclusive workplace is important. Moreover, three-quarters2 of job seekers consider diversity as an important factor when evaluating a job offer. Women are contributing, more than ever before, as tech specialists because it is becoming easier to reconcile childcare and an IT career. For 92%3 of c-level managers, the right talent is key for a company to meet its goals. Diversity and inclusion are not only a trend but the lifeblood of the future of work.
81%4 of HR people regard diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) as beneficial for a company. Overall, studies emphasized that in companies with greater diversity, employees are encouraged to go beyond their limitations with growth opportunities being underlined. These companies also support flexibility much more which has been crucial during the pandemic.
Nevertheless, there is still huge room for improvement. A wide-ranging study showed that members of the LGBTQ+ community are less likely to state that their company has open and honest two-way communication. Moreover, they said that was less chance of being with their current employer in two years’ time. This might be connected to the fact that over one-third of companies do not have sufficient resources for DEI policies.
What does diversity mean for hiring?
The Findem report shows that in 2022, 57%5 of companies prioritize the hiring of more diverse candidates, with nearly 60% regarding DEI as a top priority. And they even valued sourcing diverse candidates over the pace and low cost of hiring. More inclusive policies can help fill job vacancies if the hiring process was more inclusive. Recruiters7 believe that a more varied c-suite can result in a much more diverse pipeline of candidates.
The last three years has seen a huge number of women joining the IT sector. Between 2019 and 2022, their share in filling tech vacancies rose by 11.7%8. Little wonder then that two-thirds9 of the female tech workforce has an IT career of less than five years. In India, one-third10 of women in tech are under thirty and also have less than five years’ experience.
Primarily what women want, over any other benefit, is an opportunity for personal development. With this objective being met a great 70%11 feels satisfied at work. Over 60% of women have decided on a tech career path because of higher earnings, the possibility of personal development, and remote working. How much employees value flexibility and working remotely can be seen in our HR trends report.
Overall, women represent 28.8%12 of the tech workforce, ( in India, it’s slightly more at 34%13) with the greatest percentage in companies employing up to 1000 people. However, the percentage of women employed in fields such as cloud computing and data analysis is up to two14 times lower. Furthermore, in Belgium and Slovakia, women with technical majors stand at only 8% and 13%15, respectively. Only 16%16 of females were advised to pursue tech-based careers, which is especially concerning in these times of great need for tech specialists.
One-fifth17 of women in tech holds IT executive roles. A major hurdle for many of them is the inequality in promotion opportunities. McKinsey18 emphasizes that women are promoted far less than men leading to a lack of women in senior positions. For every 100 men who are promoted, only 86 women receive the same opportunity.
But it’s said that women don’t lack managerial competencies, they are even more engaged in specific aspects. Women are more focused on helping their teams and monitoring their workload and well-being. In addition, only 26% of men mentored at least one woman of color compared to 38% of women. At the entry-level, women make up to 47% of the workforce, but in the c-suite their numbers stand at only 24%.
Diversity and inclusion are gaining traction, especially during Pride Month, but the impact on businesses is being felt throughout the year. The future of workplace diversity is most definitely connected with empathy. With an empathic leadership, it’s significantly easier to build up trust within teams. An empathetic employer means having a ‘considerate approach’ which is crucial for working women with children.
What else can companies do to encourage more women in tech? 47%19 said that an increase in women’s IT leadership roles was crucial. This was followed by 44% stating that more training opportunities was important with work-life balance completing the top three.* The pandemic has shown us that people want to work in a flexible environment. This is why Google20 is focused on creating an inclusive workforce to both enable employees to thrive even in a hybrid model and improve retention rates.
You won’t be the only one who wants to hire diversely. By 2030, tech giants like Intel or HP21 want to dramatically increase the number of women, including those from minorities, in leadership roles. Implementing DEI in your workplace translates into making a bias-free talent sourcing pipeline, hiring experienced candidates with various backgrounds, and having clear internal communication. Furthermore, by also providing equal training, growth opportunities to nurture inclusion on a managerial level and above can be created. Broad mentorship programs could be considered to help guide people through their careers.
To make diversity and inclusion a permanent feature, they must be embedded in your company’s core values. Create a corporate culture based on respect and ensure everyone has a voice. Many aspects of diversity and inclusion will help your company negate the impact of the Great Resignation, enhance team spirit, and improve your company’s performance.
*Data collected for India only
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