“When talking about diversity in the workplace, specifically within technical / product roles, we automatically think of women, or the lack thereof — and I have to admit that I did too until fairly recently!
Last month I attended an interesting event that focused on women within tech and finance, and whilst the majority of the evening was spent discussing how we can empower women to take up more technical roles, there were some other amazing examples of diversity that came up.
When thinking about diversity, the keys factors we think of include age, sexual orientation, education, gender, race, and religion. But it is crucial to consider more than this. Have you considered neurodiversity, for example?
We heard from a woman who believed that she was hired to “fill a quota”; she believes she is massively under-skilled compared to her male counterparts, and feels incredibly judged by this; so much so that she was contemplating leaving the business. Quota filling certainly isn’t the answer if someone doesn’t have the skills, or the relevant training and support needed to develop them! It’s no secret that there is a lack of women in tech and product roles, it’s a fact that we can’t avoid right now — but in order to close that gap, we should never allow a culture in which somebody is left feeling like this.
So how do we start ? What can we do ? We need to be proactively and rapidly up-skilling women in these roles, to not only enable them to bring the best to our businesses, but to also encourage more women to get into these roles !
We also heard from a gay male who outside of work was openly and comfortably ‘out’ to all of those around him, however he felt he couldn’t bring his “true self” to work, and this lack of authenticity felt very suppressing. This for me is a wider cultural issue that unfortunately exists in far too many businesses and is something that needs to be stamped out.
Nobody should ever feel insignificant or like they are not being their “true self” in the workplace, and we should all aim to create a culture that allows those around us to have the confidence to bring their best self to work each day. Does diversity start with inclusion ?
Regardless of your age, where you come from, where you studied, your interests, your gender, your sexuality or who you choose to be, your ability to do your job should come first. This was a huge factor in my decision to join HireFirst exactly one week ago !
In 2019 we shouldn’t be hearing any of these stories, but we are — and far too frequently. There is no place for biased hiring in any company, traditional or modern, small or large, and whilst the majority of people will try to do the right thing, we all have a slight bias when it comes to certain things, so let’s strive to reduce this as much as we can !
I’m genuinely passionate about diversity, love attending events and am always keen to meet up for a coffee to discuss — don’t be a stranger if you are, too 😀
One of our goals at HireFirst is to overcome unconscious bias in hiring by anonymising profiles during shortlisting so people are only assessed by their skills and experience. We want to make a difference in the tech industry !
Share your own experience & what you’re doing to help diversity in the workplace !