Tech firms are looking for diverse talent. The tech industry is seriously falling behind when it comes to inclusion, despite its intense focus on innovation and the future.
Daily reminders of the value of inclusiveness are given to us. However, too frequently, the actions taken by businesses to support it can be sporadic and lack a long-term vocal and practical commitment.
But as we’ll see, the tech industry in particular may gain from year-round implementation of inclusion programmes. Along with serving as a socially responsible business, it also exists to cause disruption in a market that desperately needs it.
Let’s go back to 2007 and the well-known essay “The Old Boys Club is for Losers” by Anil Dash, CEO of Fog Creek Software. In it, Dash claimed that Big Tech “may succeed in protecting the boys-only nature” of its treehouse, but ultimately condemn itself to irrelevance, by not seeking out new voices.
Dash’s views are still relevant today because Big Tech is now rife with the “brogrammer” culture. Since there are numerous incumbent corporations in positions of market domination, complacency has prevented the industry from innovating and expanding outside of itself. As a result, at a time when people are increasingly searching for meaning after the epidemic, this has created a sector that is unable to represent the wants and appetites of an extremely diverse planet.
Here are four quick yet effective strategies that businesses should emphasize if they want to promote inclusivity in their operations.
1. CHANGE THE WAY YOUR BUSINESS THINKS
Every day, you must reiterate your company’s dedication to diversity. Not by hanging a banner on your lobby wall, but by completely overhauling your organization’s culture, hiring process, and business practices.
Too frequently, employers look to fill positions exclusively based on “cultural fit.” This is crucial, but it shouldn’t be the only thing taken into account because doing so too strictly can promote unconscious bias and make a team more homogeneous than previously.
You need to consider educating your culture drivers if you want to actually change the dial on diversity at your business. We developed a six-week curriculum to lead our executive team and general managers on an examination of DE&I. This required teaching on prejudice, privilege, structural inequity, allyship, microaggressions, and other topics.
Making sure the rest of your team has the tools and allies they need to make a change can be accomplished by beginning this rewiring process from the top down. Companies attempt to “fix” inclusion via “lunch and learn” events far too frequently. A proper investment is necessary for a proper shift.
The next stage should be to incorporate this “inclusion lens” into your hiring process so that it is a fundamental component of working at your firm from the start rather than an optional benefit that employees can access when they have free time. Your efforts to promote inclusiveness will be significantly more successful if you provide for this education up front rather than later try to retrain and sort out problems.
2. CREATE AN ALLIANCE ECOSYSTEM
Get serious about allyship if you’re serious about creating an inclusive workplace atmosphere. This is due to the fact that everyone has the potential to be an ally.
You must make sure you have platforms and resources accessible to make your staff feel seen and heard if you want to develop support systems to cultivate talent. By giving expression to the opinions and ideas of employees, visibility is essential in fostering a sense of inclusion and freedom among staff members.
An invaluable additional tool for people to educate themselves is an inclusion portal. Not everyone will feel at ease asking questions in front of a crowded gathering that they may find awkward. They can raise their own consciousness with the help of resources like these that provide them privacy and control.
3. IMPLEMENT POLICY CHANGE
If businesses want to create an inclusive atmosphere, they must turn to their policies. Spain has made history by becoming the first nation in Europe to give women time off for extremely painful periods. This action made Spain “the first country in Europe that talks about menstrual health as a health norm,” addressing the “stigma, shame, and guilt, as well as the loneliness that women frequently have to go through,” in the words of its Minister of Equality, Irene Montero.
To develop and implement policies that apply to everyone, including employees who miscarry, are pregnant, identify as LGBTQ+, or have neurodiversity, your senior leadership team should collaborate as much as possible with employee resource organizations. For instance, we created The Specialized Therapy policy, which provides financial assistance for a variety of therapies not generally covered by public health systems or medical insurance, like gender-reassignment surgery, abortions, and fertility treatment.
The tech industry takes pride in being an inventor at heart. This must now be applied to cutting-edge regulations that upend stigmas to encourage inclusion and empowerment.
4. ENSURE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM
Full openness and accountability for the commitments you’re making and the change you want to see in the world are essential components of any truly inclusive culture.
To keep up the momentum in achieving inclusion targets and identifying improvements—whether linked to something we’ve acquired a blind spot for or in listening more intently to what employees believe could make a difference—we encourage anonymous employee surveys.
You can learn more about your company’s demographics from anonymous employee surveys, which can also help you identify what needs to be done to create new procedures and practices that allow each employee to feel valued and free to bring their complete selves to work.
Getting tough is necessary if inclusion is to be real. For this reason, we have established for ourselves a bold, three to five-year inclusion strategy with objectives for representation. We constantly remind ourselves of the fact that it will never decrease but will always increase.
It will not be possible to create an inclusive culture overnight. However, by laying out the aforementioned procedures, you may start to invite more voices and ideas into your business—something that will be valued by your staff, the firm, and the tech industry.