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Economy stymies tech diversity growth, survey finds

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Dive Brief:

  • The economy is negatively affecting DEI efforts, according to a majority of tech executives surveyed for a July 11 report from publishing company Wiley. 
  • The survey, which polled 1,000 Gen Z workers and more than 300 senior tech executives, found that while 86% of business leaders think their DEI approaches are effective, nearly 60% still have trouble keeping talent from historically underrepresented groups. Among the Gen Z respondents, nearly 70% said they have felt uncomfortable at work because of their gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic background, neurodevelopmental condition or disability — an increase of 20 points from the results of last year’s study. 
  • “Despite the uncertainty in the market today, businesses would be wise to prioritize and expand efforts to diversify their tech teams and create more inclusive workplaces,” Todd Zipper, executive vice president and general manager at Wiley, said in a news release. “Diversity fosters innovation and opportunity. It’s especially important to provide a more level playing field for entry-level tech roles, widening the aperture of access to qualified candidates of all backgrounds.”

Dive Insight:

Diversity efforts have taken a hit as the economy slashes corporate budgets and political headwinds threaten inclusion efforts. 

Stakeholders told HR Dive the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision holding that admission programs at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were unconstitutional could dampen employers’ DEI efforts. 

Ineffective or nonexistent DEI efforts also can hurt a company’s retention, according to a June report from Deloitte. One-third of LGBTQ+ workers surveyed said they were actively looking for a new job with a more LGBTQ+ inclusive company.

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