Discrimination in tech will lead to a 'smaller spectrum of thought'
Almost 36% of employees from tech companies reported witnessing or experiencing discrimination at their current employer, according to a Blind study of more than 4,800 people from July 27 to Aug. 1.
eBay came in first with nearly 44% of its respondents having witnessed or experienced discrimination, followed by 39% of Cisco respondents and about 39% of Intel respondents. Facebook and Uber reported under 30%, the least amounts.
More than one-third of respondents said "yes" to witnessing or experiencing discrimination. However, the study noted that every company received "no" as the majority answer.
Discrimination and a lack of diversity in tech is an old narrative.
Overcoming discrimination in hiring, whether intentional or not, is only the first step. After hiring for diversity, it's important to cultivate a work environment that encourages diverse thought and participation.
A diverse employee base brings vibrancy to company culture and business decisions. It also elicits the good kind of conflict. Viewpoints that are unaligned from the start lead to a more "team versus group" mentality, according to Brad Adelberg, VP of engineering at Sauce Labs.
Inviting appropriate conflict that addresses "ideas over hierarchy" helps "address the idea, not the source of the idea," he said, in an interview with CIO Dive. But getting everyone involved requires the implementation of a scrum master, or someone to oversee the development of agile processes. This representative serves not so much as a manager but "a guardian of the process" and an "impartial representative of healthy process."
"Productive conflict" all begins with an inclusive hiring process, broken down of biases and attributes traditionally seen in tech roles. Otherwise, a homogeneous workforce will result in a "smaller spectrum of thought," according to Adelberg, which will ultimately hurt the company and its business goals.
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