Current inclusion and diversity practices in technology are inadequate. Recognition of a lack of inclusion from the top is a key enabler to access diverse communities. Organizations that focus on diversity and inclusion in their tech teams will benefit from innovation, revenue, and brand value opportunities, highlights the report.
Over the course of the pandemic, great pressure has been placed upon businesses to recruit tech talent from a shrinking pool. As enterprises have struggled to find the appropriate talent to fulfil their needs, the focus on good diversity and inclusion practices has slipped. A gulf has emerged between the leadership’s positive perception of inclusion in IT and tech teams and the harsh reality experienced by ethnic minority and female team members. According to the report, 85 percent of leadership executives believe their organizations provide equitable opportunities for career development and promotions to every employee across their organizations, but only 18 percent of women and ethnic minority employees agree. This misalignment adds to a perpetuating Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) problem across industries deploying technologies for end-users as leaders believe progress is being made, but tech employees on the ground remain pessimistic about the reality.
The spectrum of the perception gap is vast. 75 percent of leadership executives believe that women and ethnic minorities feel a sense of belonging in their organizations, but only 24 percent of these employees in tech functions concur. 53 percent of women and ethnic minority employees feel comfortable sharing personal experiences with other employees and peers, whereas only 9 percent of them feel the same comfort level with their leadership.
Only 16 percent of women and ethnic-minority tech employees believe that they are well represented in tech teams. Further, in IT teams, only one in five employees is female, and one in six is from an ethnic-minority community. When it comes to career opportunities, the gap between non-diverse or male employees and ethnic-minority tech employees or women tech employees is palpable; for instance, just 22 percent of Black tech employees feel they have an equal opportunity to grow compared to their non-diverse colleagues.
The perception gap between leadership and women and ethnic minorities in tech functions on inclusion processes and measures is narrower for organizations with an advanced inclusive culture. When asked whether women and ethnic minorities have equal access to employee resources, groups, and HR as compared to other employees from non-diverse backgrounds, the perception gap between inclusive organizations and the rest is significant (31 percent compared with 55 percent).