A diverse workforce is increasingly valued by top managers. A recent study by Deloitte discovered there had been a 10% increase in the number who cite its importance since the question was last asked in 2014.
It's not just about the bottom line
It hasn't gone unnoticed in boardrooms that companies whose workforce has high rates of gender, ethnic and racial diversity are more likely to have profits well above the median. Consumers are increasingly aware of issues surrounding diversity - and there's evidence to suggest that it's starting to guide their spending.
The benefits are clear, but how do you go about attracting and retaining a diverse workforce?
Bias is unconscious
Few of us like to think of ourselves as prejudiced, but most of us have unconscious biases that we need to be aware of. If two applicants with almost identical CVs but with very different surnames apply for the same job, which one is more likely to reach interview stage? Learning how bias influences our recruitment processes is the first step towards ensuring diverse candidates get considered. There's familiarity in the so-called 'culture fit' applicant, but they might not necessarily be the best for the job.
Make a definite commitment
Recognise where you are in terms of diversity. How do you need to improve? Have you managed to retain staff from diverse backgrounds? Create a written statement promoting diversity that's known and understood across the entire workforce and to customers. Be the kind of company that people from different backgrounds want to work for. Word quickly spreads.
Make diversity part of everything you do
Diversity can't just be a token effort. It should be an ongoing conversation not only within the organisation but also with customers. When a candidate is considering applying for a job the first place they visit is the company website and social media channels. Do they look staid, fusty and unwelcoming to a diverse range of candidates?
Colleagues with different backgrounds and experiences can give technology businesses a real creative edge against competitors. Ensuring your business has a diverse workforce should be a priority.