Building diversity is critical for any IT workforce. It all starts with overcoming unconscious bias during the hiring process. If you only hire candidates that look and think like you do, then you will never realize the significant benefits of diversity. It is important to remember that diversity goes beyond race and gender. It also means that you won’t hesitate to recruit candidates from different generations, religions and backgrounds because your organization understands diversity is a competitive advantage. Here are some reasons why diversity is so critical.

Diversity Improves Business Performance

Gender, racial and ethnic diversity correlates with better financial performance. But it doesn’t stop there, especially concerning IT careers. Diverse teams promote problem-solving skills by bringing in different ideas to improve creativity. It keeps your IT workforce from falling into the dangerous trap known as groupthink. Instead of encouraging employees to conform, building diversity welcomes a variety of new ideas and ways of thinking.

Diversity Improves Engagement

Diversity and inclusion are both key drivers of employee engagement. Your employees are going to feel more engaged in a safe and comfortable work environment. Also, engagement will go up if you step outside of your comfort zone and support different views. Some other strategies include ensuring equal access to career development programs and being transparent about pay. Organizations that encourage more cross-gender mentoring pairings are reporting better engagement and workplace equality.

Diversity Improves Employee Retention

Employees that feel accepted and valued for their individuality express greater job satisfaction and will stay longer with your company. If you are suffering from high turnover rates, then it’s time to update your workplace diversity initiatives. Reassure employees that opportunities for career progression are based on performance and not race or gender. Then, when it comes to hiring, you want a diverse candidate pool to choose from. Create more inclusive job descriptions by removing gendered words and superlatives. For instance, advertising flexible work arrangements is an effective strategy to recruit more women back into the workforce after having children.

Finally, you don’t have to lower your hiring standards to build a diverse workforce. Hiring candidates with race and ethnicity in mind is a good place to begin. Then, you can shift your focus to improving gender diversity. Doing so is critical to improve employee satisfaction, win the war for talent and improve your reputation among customers.

 

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