We all know that there are many benefits to having a diverse workforce – from increased productivity and better cultural awareness to more creativity – but there are some serious challenges facing diversity in the tech industry. Not only are some tech companies struggling to attract diverse candidates, but also retain them once they are employed.  

Here are some of the biggest challenges facing diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, and what organizations can do to combat them. 

Challenge: Attraction  

Action: Widen Your Candidate Base 

There are many simple measures companies can take to improve the numbers of diverse candidates applying for roles. You can post your jobs on job boards that specialize in diversity, engage a specialist recruiter and/or consider the education and experience requirements that you have. You should also use inclusive language on your job descriptions (ask an expert for advice if you don’t know where to start) and consider asking members of underrepresented groups to sit on interview panels. 

Challenge: Communication Issues 

Action: Take Time to Listen, Understand and Enact 

Communication issues may occur for a variety of reasons. Younger team members may prefer and use a certain communication method more than others, leading to messages being missed. There may be team members with hearing loss. Each team is unique, and it is down to team leaders to ensure that their team is communicating in the best possible way. This could mean setting rules for which methods are used for which communication type (e.g. Slack for quick questions, Zoom for in-depth meetings), or a set of communication best practices such as speaking slowly and clearly and leaving cameras on where possible. 

Challenge: Staff Engagement 

Action: Start From the Top 

With a vibrant, diverse company, it can be difficult to select benefits, initiatives and socials which will appeal to everyone. A diverse culture needs to start from the top and include everyone. Ensure that the team making these decisions is diverse itself and, always, ask your employees what they want. This is the key to an inclusive workplace. 

Challenge: Discrimination 

Action: A Zero-Tolerance Approach 

In a more diverse team, it is possible that you may see more biases and discrimination in your workplace. It is absolutely vital that you have a strict anti-discriminatory policy in your code of conduct that is communicated to all staff. Continued communication about the importance of inclusion is a good idea, as well as having diversity and inclusion goals which are shared with employees across the business. It needs to be absolutely clear to everyone that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated. 

Breaking Down Barriers 

Diversity and inclusion in the tech industry is a frequent topic on our Evolution Exchange podcast, where we speak to tech leaders from across the Nordics about what we can all do to improve diversity and inclusion in our workplaces. 

If you are looking to build a diverse tech team, we can help. Contact us today.

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