Despite the consistent conversation about Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion in the workplace, 68% of business leaders report a lack of diversity in their tech workforce. Data shows diverse, equitable, and inclusive teams are not only critical to a business’s culture but also to its financial success. Research from McKinsey found that diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 35%. By bringing in new ideas and perspectives, companies are able to stimulate faster solutions and better decisions. However, the technology sector as a whole continues to lag.
Let’s get down to the basics, what is diversity? Diversity at a high level is people of different races, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. However, when we are creating a diverse workplace we want to dig deeper. Let’s include all of the above and then add a mix of socioeconomic backgrounds, upbringings, religions, marital statuses, educations, neurodiversity’s, disabilities, and life experiences.
What is inclusion? Inclusion is the second step. Inclusion is bringing all of the different perspectives and creating a space for them to thrive. It creates an environment where our diverse workforce feels welcomed, appreciated and respected. An inclusive workplace is one where no individual is denied access to education, resources, opportunities, or any other treatment based on the qualities that make them unique, whether intentionally or inadvertently.
Without inclusion, a diverse workforce will always fall short. Genuine intentions are vital when it comes to creating your diversity strategy. Misalignment between inclusion and diversity can often look like tokenism. This is when a company brings on candidates to simply check the “diversity box”. For example, one woman on an all male team or one Black employee in a predominately white company. When a tokenized candidate is brought on to a team, they can oftentimes suffer from extreme pressure and anxiety. Most times, these tokenized candidates will likely not perform to their best ability or stick around for very long. Not all instances of having one member of an underrepresented group are examples of tokenism. When a culture of genuine inclusivity is partnered with diverse candidates, organizations are able to reap the benefits.
Code Red Partners understands the diversity hiring challenge and know the importance of inclusivity for tech companies, small and large. For more information about how we can support you in finding the right talent for your team, reach out to Code Red Partners for a free consultation. Alternatively, if you’re a Cybersecurity professional looking for a new opportunity, fill out the contact form on our website and one of our specialists will connect with your personally to talk through your individual requirements.