More than half of the tech professionals surveyed by Dice want their company to make changes to existing racial and gender diversity, equity and inclusion policies.
CENTENNIAL, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New research from tech career marketplace Dice, a DHI Group, Inc. brand, shows that 20% of technology professionals are not impressed with their companies’ actions related to racial and gender diversity, equity and inclusion movements —up from 12% in 2021. In a survey of nearly 2,500 tech professionals, Dice also found that 52% wanted their company to make changes to racial DEI practices; 51% of them said the same for gender DEI.
The data may be cause for concern for employers, as a company’s reputation on and work around DEI is critically important to job satisfaction for many technology professionals. Black tech professionals and tech professionals identifying as women were the largest drivers of the year-over-year increase in dissatisfaction. This finding isn’t necessarily surprising given the statistics Dice released in April 2023: 53% of Black tech professionals said they think racial discrimination frequently occurs, significantly higher than all other racial groups; and 51% of women said they think gender discrimination frequently occurs in the tech industry, compared to just 30% of men.
“It’s been three years since social-justice demonstrations across the country compelled many companies to heighten their focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. While those companies generated many headlines with their statements and promises in 2020, tech professionals are closely watching for long-term implementation and impact, and anything that seems more talk than action has been noticed,” said Art Zeile, CEO of Dice. “Companies need to resource their DEIB efforts appropriately if they want employees and candidates to view them in a positive manner. If executive leaders and recruiters fail to see the importance of a truly inclusive workplace, they will struggle to hire and retain top tech talent.”
Where DEI Efforts Are Failing
With tech professionals still in high demand across many industries, organizations must consider all factors that will keep their valuable employees happy enough to stay, including whether their DEIB policies have resulted in a truly welcoming and inclusive culture.
Unfortunately, the number of tech professionals who gave their company top marks for racial and gender DEI efforts has decreased since 2021, while the importance tech professionals place on improving those efforts remains high:
- 52% want to see their companies make changes in racial diversity, equity and inclusion policies
- 51% said it was important that a company make changes to support gender diversity, inclusion and equity
Recruiting and hiring efforts can also be hampered if a company neglects to focus on prioritizing and truly adopting inclusive practices: 47% of tech professionals say an organization’s reputation for diversity, equity and inclusion is influential in their decision to work there.
Given the comparatively low unemployment rate in tech — which decreased to 2% in May — and the competition for hiring and retaining skilled tech professionals, it’s imperative that companies put real effort into their DEIB efforts to show both candidates and employees that they are serious about creating a culture that includes everyone.
Enterprise Companies Outperform Smaller Organizations in DEI Efforts
Another finding from the survey was that tech professionals at companies with 3,500–4,999 employees were more pleased with their organization’s DEIB efforts than those at organizations with 250–499 employees.
“There is often more pressure on larger organizations for DEIB initiatives, as they generally have more resources to put toward them,” said Zeile. “That said, it can also be more difficult for larger companies to gain traction given their employee base, so it’s encouraging to see progress at the enterprise level.”
Regardless of company size, those in charge of creating and maintaining a culture of inclusion and belonging must keep actual impact top of mind. Here are a few suggestions to help with effective planning and implementation:
- Ask the Right Questions: Most companies have their employees complete engagement surveys, but they fail to tackle the problems illuminated by those surveys. Companies should actually study the data and allocate time for focus groups to troubleshoot feasible, meaningful solutions.
- Outsource Support: Employees who have expressed an interest in DEIB should not be overloaded with this work. There are a variety of ways companies can outsource support to help build an effective strategy for implementing DEIB.
- Be Committed Through Accountability: Make leaders responsible and ensure there is a protected grievance process in place to mitigate unaddressed discrimination, hate and injustices that happen in the workplace.
Successful DEIB programs aren’t established overnight, nor are they ever fully complete. Creating an inclusive work environment for everyone is an ongoing initiative, and one that should be prioritized by any company that wants to attract skilled tech professionals.