You have probably heard the term diversity and inclusion (D&I) many times over the course of your career, and more so during the last year. Recently, D&I has been at the forefront of many workplace initiatives.
What Is Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion are two separate concepts that, when they come together, can foster a stronger workplace, increase employee retention, and produce higher revenue growth.
Diversity in the workplace is the representation of all people. It is about creating an environment where all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, etc., are represented, along with those with different educations, skill sets, and experiences. Inclusion in the workplace is the fostering of an environment that is supportive and respective of the participation and contribution of all of its diverse employees.
When combined, diversity and inclusion mean that a workplace is one where a diverse group of people are all involved and equally supported.
Why Is Diversity and Inclusion so Important in Tech?
These are just some of the many reasons why D&I is so important in the tech industry:
Innovation and Solutions: The tech industry is fast-paced and reliant on constant innovation. A diverse team that brings a broad spectrum of experience, voices, and solutions to a problem is simply more innovative than a homogenous one.
Better Products: People tend to build things for those that look like them because that is what they know. By bringing in a diverse group of perspectives, tech companies are able to create products for everyone, not just those who are traditionally represented.
Better Customer Service: A diverse team that reflects the diversity of a company’s customers is better able to understand what those customers want. In turn, the company is able to reach a broader market than if they had a homogeneous team.
How Is Inclusivity Being Advanced in Technology, Law, and Related Industries?
D&I is currently being advanced in tech, law, and related industries in a few key ways:
1. Greater Transparency: D&I statistics within a company used to be a mystery. But companies have begun to use technology inclusivity to publish diversity statistics. While providing the public with data is not the same as promoting and including more women and minorities in the ranks and leadership roles, it is a start and helps hold companies accountable for their D&I initiatives.
2. An Intersectional Approach: Companies have begun to realize that gender equality is not enough if the women who are promoted come from the same backgrounds as their male counterparts. D&I has taken on a more intersectional approach, where the focus has shifted away from promoting any woman and more toward making sure minority women and those from less-privileged socioeconomic backgrounds are being given more opportunities as well.
3. Use of Artificial Intelligence to Screen Candidates: Many companies have begun to use AI technology to promote D&I. This type of technology inclusivity can be used, for example, to hide a candidate’s demographic information when screening resumes so that any unconscious biases of those reviewing the resumes are avoided.