The lack of diversity in the tech space is a serious problem and has been for some time.
Countless studies and statistics show that underrepresented groups do not hold leadership roles and other key positions at a ratable pace. More organizations are paying attention to the problem and taking action, but there is still plenty of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work to be done. And that work is everyone’s job.
I recently spoke to the New Hampshire Union Leader about DEI in technology, and I admittedly had more of a task list than an accomplished list. That’s why it’s so important to discuss the topic and what we can all do to continuously improve.
The Importance of DEI in Technology
A lack of diversity leads to homogeneous thinking, which hurts how businesses operate and what they put out in the market.
Tech can be used by everyone, so it should be created by everyone. This requires diversity in all aspects: race, gender, religion and more. This not only speaks to the product output of the tech industry, but also how the industry operates.
A study by Deloitte highlighted the undue burden that women are facing as they balance family and professional responsibilities during the pandemic. Keeping a diverse and inclusive team can improve how we go about our business, including problem-solving, how we communicate, what we expect for an appropriate work/life balance, what holidays we take and more.
With acknowledgment of the problem and widespread appetite for improvement, now is the time for everyone to rally behind DEI in technology.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Tech Startups
We have seen huge companies hire DEI consultants and form dedicated teams, but startups don’t have those same resources. Still, there is plenty of work that they can do.
The way we each interact, engage, support and collaborate with our peers as individuals can and will be very powerful at impacting change. We can each make a huge difference by purposefully including new perspectives, nurturing an open environment, and bringing new faces to the table.
Talent leaders should encourage and empower their teams to participate in educational opportunities, expand their networks and find new ways to engage broader, more diverse groups. The reach we have through our social networks is larger than ever, and it can foster collaborative relationships with new audiences. This is an incredible opportunity to grow in meaningful ways. (To that end: Connect with us on LinkedIn and check out our careers page if you’re interested in working with us or our portfolio companies.)
Diversity, equity and inclusion are powerful concepts that should be on our radar at all times. In a fast-paced startup or high-growth company, it’s easy to be distracted by the day’s pressing deadlines, issues and meetings. But it is imperative that we carve out space to improve DEI in technology — so we can then improve what we accomplish and how we go about getting there!