Companies are struggling with a lack of diversity in tech jobs, according to a survey conducted by Wiley. The results indicated that the majority (70%) of U.S. businesses have recognized a lack of diversity in their teams, and the majority (70%) of young tech workers don’t feel a sense of inclusion in their company’s culture.
The survey, “Diversity in Tech: 2021 U.S. Report,” polled 270 U.S. employers and 2,030 tech workers aged 18-28. The results showed a deficit in inclusion, as well over half (68%) of young tech workers stated they have felt uncomfortable at work due to their socio-economic background, gender, ethnicity, or neurodevelopmental condition. An even larger percentage (77%) of women of color reported these feelings of discomfort.
Similarly, half (50%) of young tech workers reported wanting to leave or leaving an IT or tech job due to feeling unwelcome or uncomfortable. This number was also higher (57%) for women of color.
More than half (64%) of all survey respondents felt that minorities are discriminated against in the recruitment for tech positions. And, although more than half of businesses surveyed (68%) say they are aware of a lack of diversity in their workforce, the solution remains unclear. A large majority (89%) of business leaders said they plan to recruit junior tech talent in 2021, but over half (51%) struggle with finding diverse entry-level tech talent.
The key could lie with educating high school students about technology-related fields and encouraging them to pursue this line of work. Almost half (47%) of young tech workers said they sought out their current field because they were encouraged by their high school.
U.S. companies spend more than $8 billion dollars a year on diversity and inclusion training, but according to Todd Zipper, President of Wiley Education Services, more is needed. “This report proves that investment alone isn’t enough to achieve equity in the workplace. We need to take an ecosystem approach to workforce diversity: making science and math education more accessible for all learners from an early age through college, and creating more equitable on-ramps to employment through short-form skilling and ‘last-mile’ training solutions,” he said.