In case you needed another reason to promote diversity in tech...
Since Google started the trend earlier this year, nearly every major tech firm has released diversity reports, from LinkedIn to Twitter to Facebook. And the results have all been the same: predominantly male and predominantly white, particularly among technology employees.
Ensuring opportunities for women and minorities in the new tech economy is important for these particular demographics, as well as for the continued success of the tech companies themselves, many would argue. But how important is a diverse workplace to the average worker?
That's what employer review site Glassdoor set out to discover with its latest survey. And the verdict? Showcasing diversity efforts is a crucial recruiting tool.
The survey found that 67 percent of respondents say diversity is "an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers." So by valuing diversity, companies will not only find talent across all demographics -- they will also increase their chances of attracting more talent simply by virtue of being diverse. It's a gift that keeps on giving.
Unsurprisingly, women and minority groups value diversity most, with 72 percent of women, 89 percent of African Americans, 80 percent of Asians, and 70 percent of Latinos calling it an important factor. Interestingly, military veterans were also among those most likely to value diversity at 65 percent.
At the executive level, diversity efforts appear to be working, at least in the eyes of employees: Only 2 in 5 said they do not think their company's executive team is diverse. But when Glassdoor drilled down to specific demographics, the numbers weren't always so great. For example, only 17 percent said there were military veterans on their company's executive team and only 10 percent reported their company had LGBT executives. (Of course, it's less likely that an employee would know that an executive is a military veteran or an LGBT member as opposed to other more evident demographic traits like skin color or gender).
The fact that diverse respondents want to work for diverse companies makes sense -- I remember talking to Kathryn Finney, the head of the social enterprise digitalundivided, who told me, “Many people that I’ve interacted within the tech space, particularly white men, never really talked to a black woman before. Never held a conversation. It’s shocking.” In other words, if you're the only black woman at a company full of white men, communication may be a bit strained.
But having a diverse workforce isn't merely an end in itself, or a nice PR line. As Finney noted at last month's FOCUS conference, "Demographically you cannot scale your company with all white men. There are not enough white guys in the world."
[illustration by Brad Jonas]