Owning the conversation around inclusion and diversity has become very important in the last few years, and it is no doubt climbing higher up the ladder of priorities for those wanting to succeed in a world with a serious skill shortage. Listening and working with people that understand what it’s like to be marginalised and treated differently will advance your company significantly and opens up the market for a bigger tech talent pool. Tech talent can be difficult to secure as it is, so making sure to make all talent feel seen and heard is more crucial than ever! Here are some tips and ideas to get you started on the journey to a more representative workforce.
- Diversity can mean many things
What comes to mind first when you hear the word ‘diversity’? Though it often refers to ethnic/racial minorities, it can also mean LGBTQ+ members, neurodiverse people, and people with disabilities.
If you’d like to read more about race inclusion in the workplace, click here:
Ultimately, diversity should refer to having a workforce of talented individuals, who represent all areas of the community, and who are not treated differently and/or unfairly because of any part of their identity.
- Diversity can achieve many things
In nature, diverse communities and environments thrive. They are vibrant, plentiful, and fair well through difficult periods. The same rings true for your workforce. Companies with diverse communities are relatable, creative, and pull strengths from a large toolbox of skillsets. What’s not to love! For example, the skills of autistic individuals often cater to very effective tech teams, through attention to detail, and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Diverse teams cultivate experienced and conscious workforces and can help to create more inclusive and thoughtful technology, that’s more usable for everyone.
However, to encourage a diverse environment, there’s a number of foundations to lay first, in order to make sure everybody feels adequately supported and valued. As they say- build it, and they will come. Learn more here for a deeper understanding of hiring neurodiverse people.
- Reflect on your hiring processes
If you are clear about how welcome everyone is to work alongside you, candidates will feel at ease knowing they are considering a community that values them, and more importantly, other employees like them. New talent is increasingly drawn to companies that hold the same beliefs and values as them, and the first step to communicating open and progressive values is to signpost it in campaigns and position advertisements.
Making interview processes inclusive is also key. Does the candidate have any special requirements? How can you make candidates as comfortable and accommodated for as possible? People with disabilities should feel understood and accounted for, in a way that puts the individual before their condition.
Particularly for neurodiverse individuals, ‘takeaway’ tasks and thinking exercises can be more representative of their abilities than a structured interview. Are there ways you can shake things up a little to allow everyone to show off their skills properly?
- Be clear about your commitment to diversity
This can be achieved through policy changes, as well as training of new and current employees. Make sure everyone in your workforce is protected against discrimination, by ensuring you have policies in place that will support them if any issues ever arise. That said, the possibility of potential issues can be reduced significantly if your teams are trained on inclusion and educated on diversity.
Training, such as unconscious bias workshops (offered to clients and used by our internal teams) can really encourage open conversations about diversity and how to do better. All positions should take part in workshops like this, to really demonstrate how important diversity is to your values as a company.
Check through any workplace rules and codes, to replace any outdated dress codes and other facility-related rules. Members of the LGBTQ+ community, for example, may feel anxious about revealing their identities if they feel as though there could be any misunderstandings.
A final tip would be to make sure everyone feels heard. Diversity is so important for a thoughtful and considerate tech team, and can seriously improve your company’s community, and ultimately, the success of your business. Building up a team inclusively can be achieved seamlessly with our help, and if you want to hear more from us about the why and how of diversity, contact us.