Diversity, equity, and inclusion are by no means new problems for the tech industry.
FREMONT, CA: According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, white people make up 68 per cent of the population in big tech (EEOC). And over 64 per cent of the sector's workers are men. Diversity, equity, and inclusion issues are by no means new in the technology sector. However, new problems like the economic downturn might force businesses to make decisions like layoffs, which can exacerbate a serious diversity issue in the sector.
Three of the four most diverse tech companies Twitter (NASDAQ: META), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Zoom, and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), have had to make personnel reductions this fall.
The Chair of the Forbes Business Council for Women Executives, digital transformation and technology expert, and author of The Human Side of Digital Business Transformation, In tech companies, typically, the people that struggle to move up or get recognised are the minority, who are the people that typically get cut first.
The value of promoting diversity and inclusivity in tech will be undermined if companies like Twitter make these decisions because they will miss out on the critical viewpoints and innovations inherent in having a varied staff.
Diversity’s Impact on Digital Transformation
A digital agency that specialises in corporate transformation solutions, this past June as the managing director of Switzerland. 22 years of industry expertise. Looking ahead to 2023, Lardi, a steadfast supporter of workplace diversity, has some serious worries, particularly in the tech industry.
There are several things about the present round of mass layoffs that alarm. The world suffers greatly when diversity in the tech sector is lost. Major technological developments, such as those based on AI or the metaverse, already experience a lack of variety. These solutions risk being developed only for a certain homogenous subset of individuals if a range of people does not develop them.
Lardi says that eliminating bias in technology extends past issues of race and gender to include issues of diversity in philosophy, upbringing, sexual orientation, and educational backgrounds. Without it, teams risk creating biased technologies.
The absence of diversity in IT and developer teams have been well-documented. This lack of diversity directly affects the technological solutions being created.
When businesses go through any stage of their digital transformation plan, they frequently concentrate on the digital rather than the transformation. The layer that directly connects individuals inside an organisation is called transformation. Therefore, a lack of diversity has an effect on these efforts as well.
The transformation phase, a company's journey with its ecosystem of people, creates the stable basis to accelerate these exponential possibilities. The digital portion offers doors to exponential possibilities. Any strategy or technological implementation can succeed or fail based on the people component.
Organisations are still having trouble comprehending the human element of digital change. The secret to long-term success in an organisation undergoing digital transformation is interacting with the ecosystem of individuals within that organisation.
In order to manage suppliers and internal and external stakeholders and to identify and build shared advantages throughout the process, decision-makers set up a framework. Digital maturity and transformation readiness evaluations in her book are tools organisations may use to help them through this process.
While the current economic environment may not be beneficial for the tech industry, one aspect is sure to endure: Its potential for growth. The U.S. EEOC has been closely monitoring this since it recognises the tech sector as a source of a growing number of jobs when the economy is not putting a strain on it. Because of this, the EEOC is also concerned about the diversity or lack thereof in the industry.
According to an EEOC executive summary on diversity, ensuring an adequate supply of workers with the proper skills and credentials and addressing the lack of diversity among high-tech workers have become critical public policy challenges.
Tech businesses' digital transformation and diversity strategies do not have an excuse to lag behind even though they will face financial difficulties in the next months.
Business leadership may opt to shift investments and conserve resources for business continuity if economic conditions change. Here, it would be beneficial to concentrate on digital transformation strategies that help cut costs, such as cloud migrations or automation, improvements to goods or services via digital channels or technology, or streamlining processes utilising remote or hybrid working tools.
Gen-Z workers are also keeping businesses on their toes by demanding corporate responsibility, transparent diversity and inclusion strategies, sustainable practices, and work that fulfils them, which is why the tech industry can no longer use these factors as an excuse for its sluggish progress in these areas.
The tech industry is seeing a significant impact from this, as customers demand more and more that businesses uphold their principles and act responsibly. This will assist in holding tech corporations accountable.