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Diversity And Inclusion In The Tech Industry; How To Stop Talking About Doing It, And Do It

#TechDiversity is a non-profit alliance dedicated to educating and celebrating diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. Since taking over as director of #TechDiversity, my LinkedIn connections have increased by over 70%. Why? Because in 2020, HR directors and business leaders, from large enterprises to SMEs, are all keen to learn more about the business benefits of D&I. 

 

diversity and inclusionWhy Diversity and Inclusion Strategies?

Through research and talking with leaders of diverse organisations, it’s easy for me to see D&I as part of a comprehensive business strategy. The tech industry is ready to stop talking about D&I and start ‘doing’. I’ve seen this commitment manifest in the 100+ attendees we welcome each time #TechDiversity hosts an online discussion. This change in mindset is driven by an organisation’s ability to measure the impact of D&I on successful business outcomes.


I have learnt a lot since I decided to champion diversity in tech. At times, I have been overwhelmed by organisations and by people who are well into their journey of systematising diversity and inclusion.  They have made commitments, rooted diversity and inclusion in their everyday work environment and created a supportive and nurturing workplace where ALL employees benefit. And of course, part of their success is commercial mindedness. This is something we advocate strongly at #TechDiversity; the consideration that businesses need to look after their bottom line, and that D&I needs to fall into this. We must marry commercial considerations with articulations on why diversity is key to business success. 

This is why many tech organisations have joined our community. 

So, the million-dollar question I get asked by business leaders and HR is ‘how do we do it and how do we measure it?’ Let’s go there.

Systematising Diversity and Inclusion

We recently featured Oracle in one of our online discussions. During the talk, Kat Barnett, who is the Director of Employee Success, JAPAC at Oracle, described how they have systematised diversity in the following ways:

  • Make diversity part of their mandatory training alongside their ethics and compliance, and have a strong stance on being an equal opportunity employer from the start
  • Feature diversity on the agenda along with employee health and employee wellbeing and how this achieves business goals 
  • Regularly report on trends in the company such as promotions and employee satisfaction, and consistently report back to ensure regular and constant interaction with employees 

diversity and inclusion

Measuring Diversity 

Organisation’s make data-driven business decisions and decisions regarding workforces all the time. The good news is you can also make data-driven diversity decisions. When I was approached by Cultural Infusion to review their diversity data-analysis platform, I was excited to see it’s potential. Cultural Infusion’s data points are organised in an easy to understand dashboard, where results can be compared across departments, seniority and job function. This offers a transparent and direct insight into the extent of diversity within an organisation. It’s the closest solution I have seen so far as a diversity data-analysis platform. They have partners such as Australian National University and Australian National Commission, and they are certainly something for organisations to consider as an option to start leveraging diversity to generate successful business results. I’m now further working with them right now to explore how the technology industry can leverage this platform. If you’d like to learn more, you reach out at any time. 

Takeaways

There are a few points I’d like you to consider if you are stuck on your diversity journey or need inspiration.

  • Ensure diverse initiatives are truly diverse beyond race and gender
  • Map out your workplace diversity. Look at the employee lifecycle, how can diversity fit in?
  • And finally, please, try not to let COVID be a barrier. Think about how you should be attracting, nurturing, and developing a diverse workplace.  Diversity breeds innovation and innovation is more important than ever to thrive post-COVID.  

If you’d like to join our #TechDiversity community, you can sign up here. Our content and insights are free, and we are always looking for organisations we can align with. 

Thank you to our Bambuddha Member, Luli, for this week’s blog contribution.

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