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Businesses embrace anti-bias hiring strategies to rewrite code on diversity in tech

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Businesses are making positive strides towards overcoming the historical lack of diversity within the tech workforce, as data suggests that more than half (52%) set diversity targets (up from 46% last year).

The Diversity in Tech 2023 report from emerging talent and reskill training provider, Wiley Edge, found that many businesses are seeking to rewrite tech’s historically poor reputation for diversity, with considerable success. Wiley Edge’s research, which included surveying 300 respondents in senior IT leadership roles within medium to large enterprises, highlighted that businesses are increasingly embracing anti-bias hiring strategies. This is proving to impact workforce diversity positively in turn.

Setting diversity targets was the most widely used strategy of businesses surveyed. But the report also suggests that anti-bias training for interviewers (used by 43% of businesses) and blind CV reviews (used by 31%) are on the rise – up from 41% and 25% respectively last year. However, the same proportion of businesses publish neutral job descriptions as last year (44%), while only 25% of businesses prioritise diverse shortlists, down from 37% last year.

Those taking proactive steps are reaping the benefits and setting a positive example for other businesses grappling with workforce diversity challenges. Wiley Edge’s research found that a significant 96% of businesses using a strategy have noticed a positive impact on their workforce diversity. Importantly, this is being recognised by employees, with just 6% of Gen Z tech workers surveyed feeling that diversity was not a priority to their employer during their own recruitment journey.

Khadijah Pandor, Head of Partnerships, EMEA & NA, at Wiley Edge, commented:

“It’s encouraging to see the beginnings of a success story start to emerge, as employers of tech talent take action and introduce strategies to help improve workforce diversity. The positive outcomes that many employers are seeing only reinstates the value of this type of work, setting a positive example for other industries facing challenges to follow suit.

“However, there is still more to be done to encourage talent from diverse backgrounds to consider and feel equipped to pursue a career in tech. Through our work with clients in high-demand sectors from banking to insurance, we’ve seen a real commitment to helping rewrite the code of diversity in tech. But, understandably, it can be difficult for busy employers to know where to start.

“This is why we actively support forward-thinking employers to diversify talent pipelines and help graduates from diverse backgrounds get ready to thrive in the world of work. This includes training graduates from many different universities and supporting a diverse Alumni population of talent – 42% of which are women, and 51% are Black, Asian, or minority ethnic.”

A range of different anti-bias hiring strategies were deployed by the businesses surveyed. These included:

  • Setting diversity targets – identifying areas for improvement, such as increasing the number of women in leadership positions or the proportion of employees from low socio-economic backgrounds
  • Publishing neutral job descriptions – using gender-neutral language and avoiding stereotypically gendered terms in the advertisement of all positions
  • Conducting blind CV reviews – removing any indicators of the candidate’s identity, such as gender, age, and ethnicity, to focus entirely on their skills and experience
  • Providing anti-bias training for interviewers – supporting those involved in recruitment to recognise any biases and concentrate solely on factors which affect the candidate’s ability to deliver in post
  • Prioritising diverse shortlists – ensuring that candidates selected for the final stages are from a diverse range of backgrounds

More detail on the findings and research methodology can be found in Wiley Edge’s Diversity in Tech 2023 report:

For more information about Wiley Edge click here.

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