Companies and organizations are beginning to pay more attention to diversity and inclusion in both their hiring and their corporate culture. Companies understand that having a diverse workforce is good for business as well as their employees. There’s been a lot of focus recently on gender diversity and unconscious biases that affect how candidates are recruited and selected. That conversation is expected to expand even further in 2020.
Carolina Milanese, Founder of The Heart of Tech and analyst at Creative Strategies has been covering the tech industry for years and says there are two crucial elements needed in the conversation; education and diversity.
“In 2019 we have seen companies be more purposeful in the data they share in their diversity and inclusion reports. Intel, for instance was the first tech company to publish pay information showing the gap between men and women. Other companies like Dell made diversity and inclusion one of the goals in their social impact campaign both in terms of hiring and retaining a diverse set of employees.”
But any commitment to hire more women needs to backed up by training and education. “Initiatives such as supporting math, coding and science, organizations that focus on girls throughout school or diversifying hiring practices so that a college degree is not compulsory for tech jobs all help in addressing the pipeline problem,” she says.
Here are five diversity and inclusion trends we expect to see taking shape in 2020.
At Team Building, we’ve been using the practice of anonymizing applications for at least a year. We are a 100% remote team but do have local facilitators in each of our operating cities. Instead of asking for an address, we now ask “are you able to regularly travel to X location in San Francisco”, where X could be downtown or another specific site, and you could replace San Francisco with another city. This question allows us to reduce or eliminate bias, and instead serves a very specific purpose for ongoing success in the role.
Names are more difficult to eliminate from applications, because hiring software generally makes names required, and because functionally they are helpful when you reach out to candidates that move to further stages. We use “quick view” of applications, that allows us to bypass names and go direct to a candidate’s questionnaire — which may have answers to prompts like typing speed, achievements in previous sales roles, or other job relevant skills.
Michael Alexis, CEO of Team Building
GENDER NEUTRAL APPLICATIONS
One only has to look thoughtfully at the way in which this topic is being treated throughout business groups and practices. Take for instance the application process. Now, candidates can often find a dropdown where they can select their gender pronouns. This inquiry in the application process shows respect and acknowledgement for candidates that identify in a way other than their biological gender has dictated. It also enables candidates a level of comfort and showcases the company’s stance on supporting a proud and diverse workforce.
Tyler Butler, Founder & CEO, 11Eleven Consulting
A top trend in DI is that it is no longer being called DI (for "Diversity and Inclusion). It is now becoming renamed the more appropriate DEI (for "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"). This happens in order to acknowledge that this is not just about making spaces and workplaces more diverse or about letting someone different be at the company, it's also about making space and paths for these employees to grow and thrive via supportive programming, mentorship, and ongoing guidance toward long-term success.
A great example of a company meeting another key DEI trend is Nike, which has dedicated millions of dollars to improve their bathroom options to make them safe for employees of all genders. This is crucial for the workplace as it is vital that employees can focus on their work, which is nearly impossible if they are not safe to utilize the restroom of the gender in which they identify.
Two trends organizations are focusing on in 2020 when it comes to D&I are awareness and memorability. By awareness, I mean they're trying to make the average employee aware of what these terms actually mean, so that we don't just keep associating "diversity" with skin color or "inclusiveness" with tweaks to hiring policies.
Something I've started explaining to leaders and employees is that inclusion doesn't just mean being invited to the party but being able to dance at the party — in 2020, our inclusion efforts need to allow people to "dance." In other words, are you creating a work environment where people feel comfortable personally and socially? If not, it's time to go beyond just tweaking what you write on your About Us page.
Melissa Cadwallader, Head of HR at ZenBusiness
TRAIN AND CELEBRATE
After getting an inclusive workforce on board, it’s vital to ensure that they aren’t treated differently or inferior in any way. Tech companies across the world are increasingly becoming aware of unconscious bias and how it can create problems for people coming from different genders, personality types, ethnicities, and backgrounds. One common diversity and inclusion trend is an investment in training sessions that help people shed their biases and develop empathy for everyone around them.
Another trend is the celebration of diversity and inclusion in the real sense, not just on paper. Tech companies are dedicating time and resources in organizing events, both cultural and professional, that enable employees to peep into other cultures and backgrounds so that everyone is aware of and sensitive about where others are coming from and how they can lift each other up to move ahead.
Tapan Patel, Co-founder, Third Rock Techkno
If you’re looking to work for a company that values diversity and inclusion, be sure to check out our open jobs at CyberCoders.com.