Roller Diversity
February 27, 2018

The Importance of Diversity In Technology

Written By Nikki McCaig

The technical industries have always been dominated by particular groups of culture. Although moves in recent years have pushed society to becoming increasingly aware of the potential of a diverse workforce, many large companies within the technology sector are still reluctant to change.

From some of the largest tech franchises in the world, to some of the smallest, the industry as a whole has been facing scrutiny recently over its attitude towards diversity in the workplace. With isolated instances, such as James Damore’s ‘Ideological Echo Chamber’, pointing figures at companies such as Google, Samsung and Facebook for their lack of diversity and equality, we wanted to showcase just how important diversity in technology actually is.

The Benefits Of A Diverse Workforce

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The benefits of employing a richly diverse workforce are numerous. Not only are companies opening up their pool of talent to new ideas, cultural perspectives and concepts that might previously have been explored, they are also offering opportunities to fresh potential.

There are also financial benefits to including increased diversity into your recruitment plan, with more diversity bringing in new clientele, new projects and new commissions – as well helping to drive profit. Increased diversity also helps to increase social awareness, attaching previously isolated companies to their external communities. This means that internal company mission statements can publically adapt for inclusivity, outreaching because a simpler, and more celebrated process and establishing a role within the wider technology community should be easier than ever.

Why Diversity Matters

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Sites such as Information Is Beautiful have utilised the recently released statistics of employee information from major technology companies such as Facebook, Intel, Instagram and Uber. By dividing the data into the most affluent cultural groupings, the site reveals just how significant the change in diversity could be – with black, Latino and female workers becoming heavily marginalised.

But this data collection also reveals a lot more about the individual companies themselves, and is potentially harmful for those looking to begin a career in technology. Young black women, for example, have now been presented with a list of companies to avoid in their want to gain some experience in development, or engineering. Experienced Latino workers now have little reason to submit their CVs to businesses such as Youtube, Salesforce and Groupon.

Diversity in technology matters because it sets the precedent for new, untapped potential to feel welcome in an exciting and expanding industry. It allows those with the skills and the knowledge to become successful in their field to aim for their goals without the fears of their cultural heritage or gender holding them back.

Technology itself does not discriminate. It is used, adapted, played with, engaged with and utilised by everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, race or culture. Yet it is increasingly obvious that the companies who are funding and creating this technology do not share the same values.

Technology is also driven by evolution. Progression and moving forward and adapting and modernising are the key principles of all technological development. It is built to find solutions to problems put in place by society, the environment, humanity – yet no one has, so far, developed the right technological solution to end discrimination.