The tech industry has undoubtedly been the pillar of modern economic progress. The pandemic years were a testament to the power of tech in keeping the world running virtually. But it is not always the machines and algorithms that drive success in our digital economy. The human workforce that works behind the scenes to build the tech is equally important for progress.

The world is a diverse place. Hence the tech we built to power it needs diverse perspectives and capabilities to ensure relevance to every community on the planet. This is precisely the reason why the diversity movement in technology has taken center stage over the past couple of years.


The constituents of diversity

In the past, most companies considered gender as the only metric of diversity worth paying attention to. Fast forward to the present, workforce diversity has expanded its coverage significantly. Women, people of color, different sexual orientations, economic and societal variances, marginalized communities, religious minorities, differently abled, etc. are some of the most vibrant flagbearers of the diversity movement happening in the tech sector today.

The scope of diversity is not limited to just people hired by the tech company but also their partners and suppliers as well. Working with minority suppliers as well as ensuring diversity in hiring for partner firms is also an important (and growing) trend.


Why is diversity important?

If we were to narrow down to the most powerful benefit of workplace diversity, it would be the amplifying power of representation. When employees see people as diverse as them being recognized and placed in positions of influence, it gives them a feeling of belonging. It could be at a group, unit, or organization level. This will certainly impact the dynamics that develop between people in the company and directly influence how they value their work.

Diversity fuels innovation, a trait that tech companies need to continuously compete and build great products and services.  Studies have shown that businesses with a more inclusive and diverse management team leading them have shown at least 19% more revenue generation due to innovation.


What the future holds for diversity in the technology sector?

We are nearing what many believe is the first full year of economic activity since the post-pandemic recovery stage started in the latter half of 2022. Technology has been a major driver of success and innovation this year especially the likes of generative AI. So, as we move into a new year, here are some of my expectations on how diversity will be enhanced in the tech industry for the coming 12 months:

Hiring will be even more inclusive

More leaders understand the true potential of having diversity as a strategic priority in their make up today. To realize this potential, they need to build products with people having the same diverse elements as the target audience. This understanding will trickle down into enterprise-wide hiring strategies in 2024. HR teams will make it a strategic priority to scout for talent with not just great skills, but also great perspectives shaped by their diverse backgrounds.

Support growth

Hiring is just one part of the equation. Just filling positions based on a fixed quota for diversity is not the right way forward. It is important to ensure that people hired through inclusive approaches are given a fair ground to gain knowledge, exposure, and capabilities to contribute as much as their peers. This is where learning and development initiatives, professional skill enhancement programs, continuous education programs, etc. can help set the tone for equality in growth.

In 2024, enterprises are expected to run specialized programs that are designed to help impart growth and leadership skills to people hired for inclusivity. For example, leadership training programs for women, people of color, etc.

Promote allyship

We have talked about running specific groups for people hired for their diversity. However, inclusion in the workforce requires more than just skill-building exercises for new hires. It also requires building awareness among other members of the team to celebrate the power of diversity as well. In several workplaces, imagined stigmas surrounding the professional competence of people from varied backgrounds still exist. Leaders need to step in to alienate such unhealthy environments and build a happier workplace for everyone.

A major step in this direction is allyship. People who are often privileged to be considered normal need to speak up and advocate for peers who come bearing the colors of diversity. Mentorship programs and social awareness programs can help in promoting such advocacy among staff. Additionally, we could also see programs run to build awareness among other staff especially leaders to help them understand the need to have an inclusive workforce. A powerful example could be the need to recognize the inclusion of members of the LGBT community in the workplace.

The tech industry is considered to be the flag bearer of change in today’s highly digitized world. As such, they have the potential to bear the fruits of change for workplace practices. The tech industry can bring in people from varied backgrounds, provide them an opportunity to take part in high-paying roles and celebrate their success. This can be a stimulus to other sectors to follow suit and build workplace models that replicate the beauty of diversity and inclusiveness.

Whether it is your internal hires or the team you outsource to build your great tech products, the need to ensure inclusiveness is critical. Measuring results in such a complex web of operational models can be tough. But it can be made very easy and seamless by having the right partner to help in your technology development. Get in touch with us to know more.