Companies know the importance of diversity. In fact, Workforce Management estimates that collectively, companies are spending billions on diversity and inclusion efforts. Yet, 68% of business leaders report a lack of diversity in their tech workforce. How do we fix that? 

In this episode of This Is Recruiting, we called in Patricia Gatlin, DEI Activist and Curator of #BlackLinkedIn to give us tips on how to make your tech workforce diverse and powerful.

    If you would like to watch the full video >  YOUTUBE

1. Can you tell us a bit about the current status of diversity in tech roles - racial diversity and the gender gap

According to Mckinsey: the numbers say
- Women 20%
- Black and brown 40%

White workers make up a whopping 62% of the high-tech industry, 
Asian employees make up 20%, 
Hispanic and Latino workers account for 8%, 
Black employees make up 7%. 

2. How do we get the entire company—including our leadership team—on board with DEI initiatives?

Every department has KPIs (key points of interest) so you can get to the OKR (objects, key points, and results). You have to focus on what diversity looks like in that specific department, for example:

DEI in employee relations is not going to look the same as DEI in the C-Suite or let's just say (Operations).

I hate to say but DEI has to be about the dollars for some people to really get it. If we position DEI only as charitable idea then people will think DEI is an affirmative action hand out. It's not. We have to therefore do more undoing of that type of thinking. When it's built into the business models there's nothing to really debate. That's why it's important that Start-Ups consider this early in the infancy stages so they don't have the challenges of some companies who are 50+ years in. 

3.What would you say is the most difficult part of implementing a DEI program for tech hiring?

You need an entire system to support that initiative for the candidate to have a diverse experience while onboarding and integrating with the company but especially their team.

Finding large quantities of diverse candidates that meet the minimal qualifications. Sometimes the pool is small and the pipeline is even smaller. 

We must also make sure that search committees have done some type of diversity training before proceeding to hire someone. 

The timeline is always the most difficult part of tech hiring or any hiring. For example, the cost to interview a candidate is around 4k and pretty much cost a candidate around half of that to interview a company. Interviewing is not cheap, thankfully we have more virtually interviews, but still the second or final rounds require travel. It’s not cheap

Nepotism - the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. Gatekeeping contributes to this act of recruiting.

Creating pipelines from regional candidates. If we're talking about coding being it's own languages which there are many then we must admit that talent needs to be taught this early. For example, they concluded that the ability to learn a new language, at least grammatically, is strongest until the age of 18 after which there is a precipitous decline. To become completely fluent, however, learning should start before the age of 10.

4. What are some creative ways to proactively source tech candidates from underrepresented communities?

Community outreach and engagement. I mean feet on the ground and constantly providing resources.

Go where they are, not just when you're looking to meet your quotas. Hiring Managers, recruiters, and sourcers should be the face and heart in that community long before you start recruiting. Warm leads are way better than cold ones.

I show up to Latin in Tech conferences, Asian community events, and Black career summits. Most importantly high schools and community colleges to talk about my journey and to be transparent. If I don't know the language or culture I will take someone who does. 

5. Can you give an example on how to “bake” diversity into a technical job description?

Language - men and women speak completely different.
We respect post that are more short and to the point (it gives off a men's stylistic of writing). We need to make sure we are using gender neutral pronouns to describe working abilities. We also need to give examples of the exact amount of work being requested.

Timeframe - give tentative timeframes when you expect to interview, review, and hire said candidate
*it cost a company upwards to 4K to interview a candidate and it's not much less for a candidate to go through full cycle interviewing with a company* It cost to interview and we need to be mindful of the time frames.

Remote/Hybrid - Decide if the job can actually be remote not just hybrid - not only good for mothers of infants or persons with disabilities.

Salary - disclose the salary range, money is important. What is a requirement and what is not? Degrees or certifications. Pay person more than 65K a year if you're bold enough to require they have a Masters degree.

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