DEI disconnection between technology leaders and their teams

Over the past three decades, the emergence of Silicon Valley has created strong job growth in the tech sector, and that growth continues. In the Next 10 years only, there will be around a million new jobs across STEM fields, with tech occupations leading the pack. Despite this impressive growth, the tech industry, like so many others, may not yet have overcome the biggest societal and professional problem to date: barriers to diversity and inclusion.

New search Capgemini found that 84% of women and ethnic minorities in technology positions in global organizations recognize this industry-wide representation problem. Additionally, the lack of representation is compounded by a wide perception gap between executive leadership and these marginalized members of the technical team. In fact, a Capgemini study found that 75% of executives believe that women and ethnic minorities feel a sense of belonging within their organization; however, this belief is only shared by 24% of women and ethnic minority employees in technology functions.

This lack of diversity and inclusion is not only felt within the workforce, but also among diverse consumers, the majority of whom have directly experienced discrimination based on technology, algorithmic bias on social media platforms for iniquity with facial recognition technology. And given that 84% of all tech workers agree their products are not inclusive, this widespread consumer sentiment, while daunting, is not surprising.

To create inclusive technology teams, products and services, there must be both company-wide and technology-driven movements within organizations. Here are five steps to help organizations move towards greater inclusion in technology:

Building the responsibility and ownership of technology leaders for inclusion and diversity

Before organizations take concrete steps to improve DCI’s efforts, it’s critical to start the conversation and educate leaders about inclusive practices, or the lack thereof, within their technical teams. Specifically, large global companies should focus on each diversity segment, noting policies, practices and representation at the country level. With this fundamental awareness, companies should then begin to assign more responsibility for diversity outcomes and benchmarks to technology leaders.

Develop robust processes, practices and value systems that enable inclusion

Once leadership is better informed, HR and technology leaders should share responsibility for developing and driving DE&I expectations, solutions, and policies across technical teams. This includes diversity and anti-harassment policies, inclusion mandates, bias workshops and discussions, and inclusive language and vocabulary, among other practices.

To enable sustainable and widespread inclusion, these leaders must also work together to rethink two HR pillars: hiring practices and career development. By focusing on inclusive language in job postings, assessing referral systems, and adjusting culturally appropriate criteria for inclusive search and recruitment, companies can attract diverse tech talent. And by enhancing transparency and greater fairness in career advancement and the allocation of career opportunities to women and ethnic minority groups, organizations can retain and advance their diverse technical team members.

Laying the technological and data bases to promote inclusion

Perhaps ironically, organizations struggling with inclusion in technical teams and product design must turn to technology to meet their DE&I needs. In fact, companies should increasingly use emerging tools and technologies to reduce human bias while putting in place checks and balances to debunk HR systems. In addition, improving data collection and management through surveys, comments, HR databases and polarization switch and polarization decoder Tools are essential for obtaining nuanced insight into inclusion and thereby fostering organization-wide DE&I when information is fed back into the organization in an actionable way.

Promote fairness in AI systems and reduce algorithmic bias

On the product development side, technological leadership must push its teams to tackle one of the main causes of technological bias:AI systems. As various consumers have felt the impact of such technology-based racial and gender bias, addressing this issue and maintaining customer trust and loyalty is essential. Through algorithms and automated analysis for impact assessment of decisions, screening of datasets and regular audits of AI systems, technical teams can use their functional expertise to help eliminate technology biases by making inclusive data entry and transparent AI decision making.

Maintain user diversity at the heart of the design of inclusive technology / digital products and services

Last but not least, technical teams must always take their diverse consumer base into account when researching, designing and developing their products and services, keeping them at the heart of their recommendations. In addition, technical teams must continually seek inspiration in themselves, calling on female and ethnic minority members to play a vital role in the design and development of digital products and services. With this shared internal and external focus, and by establishing and using a system of checks and balances, during the research and design phase, organizations can ensure that their technology products and solutions represent everyone.

By creating and following these inclusive guidelines, organizations can begin to change their business practices and cope with this pressing moment, not only on behalf of their female and minority tech workers, but also for the 76% of diverse consumers who are waiting. companies that they design with everyone. consumers in mind. Companies that make this strong commitment will increase customer loyalty, increase employee engagement, and maintain a strong reputation in the market. Without such targeted inclusion, organizations and tech teams will suffer, as their most advanced competitors will undoubtedly disrupt their industries by giving them access to the widest range of tech talent, consumers and products.

Elizabeth Kiehner is Vice President, Business Transformation for Capgemini Invent. Greg Bentham is vice president of cloud infrastructure services for Capgemini Americas.

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