Nearly 70% of U.S. Businesses Report a Lack of Diversity in their Tech Workforce; Same Percentage of Young Tech Employees Have Felt Uncomfortable at Work Based on Their Identity or Background
Wiley is Addressing the Diversity & Skills Gaps in Tech by Connecting High-Quality Education with High-Demand Careers
HOBOKEN, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–From the 2021 ASU+GSV Summit, WILEY, a global leader in research and education, today announced its Diversity in Tech: 2021 U.S. Report following a survey of more than 2,000 early career tech workers and 270 business leaders. The report verifies the pace of progress is too slow in addressing the lack of diversity in U.S. technology-focused jobs and reveals insights that underscore the challenges companies must address to build more diverse workforces. Key findings include that nearly 70% of U.S. businesses identify a lack of diversity in their workforces, while the same percentage of young tech workers feel a lack of inclusion and belonging in company culture.
“It’s estimated that U.S. companies collectively are spending more than ever before – about eight billion dollars a year – on diversity and inclusion training,” said Todd Zipper, President of Wiley Education Services. “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.”
The report provides some key insights and findings about the lack of diversity in workforces including:
There is immense power in educating and encouraging secondary-school students to pursue technology-focused roles.
According to 18–28-year-old workers currently in the technology field, the most common reason for pursuing a career in technology is encouragement to do so by their high school. Nearly five out of 10 young tech workers (47%) cited this as one of their main motivations, highlighting the necessity for schools to do more to promote tech roles to a wider range of students.
To land a tech job or advance in the tech sector, nearly half of women surveyed were concerned about their qualifications; 31% were concerned they are not good enough at math and science; and one-in-three women were worried that they do not have the right educational background. When comparing men and women, women are more concerned about their skillset with 48% worried about their qualifications compared with 43% of males.
Though businesses are aware of the lack of diversity in the tech sector, they are unsure how to address it.
Nearly nine out of 10 (89%) business leaders surveyed plan to recruit junior tech talent in 2021; of those, more than half (51%) struggle to recruit diverse entry-level technology talent.
68% of businesses surveyed feel there is a lack of diversity in their tech workforce, but only half (46%) are actively trying to address the issue within technology teams. Nearly a quarter (22%) said they do not know how to address the issue. Surprisingly, nearly half (45%) of businesses have yet to invest in anti-bias training for hiring managers.
To enable a more diverse workforce, companies need to create more inclusive cultures.
Seven out of 10 (68%) young technology workers have felt uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background, or neurodevelopmental condition. When looking at women of color (female respondents who identify as non-white) this number increases to nearly eight out of 10 (77%).
Half (50%) of young tech workers said they had left, or wanted to leave, a tech or IT job because the company culture made them feel unwelcome or uncomfortable, highlighting the importance of building inclusive cultures. This number increases to nearly six out of 10 (57%) when looking at women of color.
A significant proportion of all surveyed (64%) said they believe people from minority backgrounds are discriminated against in the recruitment process for technology jobs. This number was relatively consistent across the different demographics.
Wiley supports thousands of higher ed institutions and employers worldwide to deliver education directly connected to career success and build a diverse and digitally savvy workforce at scale. One way Wiley does this is through innovative, last-mile training solutions like mthree that hire, train and deploy job-ready technology talent in roles with leading corporations worldwide, including more than 30 Fortune 500 companies.
“With nine million unfilled jobs currently in the U.S., the economy will continue to struggle as it experiences a labor shortage, especially if companies are ill-equipped to recruit and retain a diverse tech workforce.” said Daniele Grassi, Chief Operating Officer for mthree, a Wiley brand. “Expanding and diversifying talent pipelines will get great workers in high-demand tech jobs faster, benefitting both companies and workers.”
As part of Wiley, mthree offers solutions to build pipelines of diverse, custom-trained talent. mthree believes companies can reach new demographics and tackle biases from age to education. In 2020, of those placed with companies by mthree, 35% were female and 50% were Black, Asian, or another minority ethnicity.
Link to Report: Download the full report here.
ASU + GSV Session: Wiley will discuss insights from the Diversity in Tech: 2021 U.S. Report virtually from the 2021 ASU + GSV Summit, please visit here for more details.
U.S. Employee: The U.S. employee sample consisted of 2,030 respondents comprised of individuals ages 18-28. All respondents resided in the United States at the time they participated in the survey. Texas residents accounted for the largest percentage of respondents (15%), followed by New York (14%), and Florida (10%).
U.S. Employer: The U.S. employer sample consisted of 270 respondents who were serving in leadership roles within the financial services, healthcare or insurance industries at the time they completed the survey. Respondents needed to be serving in C-suite, executive level, senior management, vice president, or director positions in order to participate. All respondents resided in the United States at the time they participated in the survey. Florida residents accounted for the largest percentage of respondents (18%), followed by New York (14%), and Illinois (11%).
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