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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Tech Sector

Posted: 23 Aug 2022

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Tech Sector

Employers who can demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion have an advantage when hiring tech talent, says Eolas Recruitment.

“The perceived fairness of how a company treats its workforce—how inclusive it is and whether it values diversity—can be the deciding factor when candidates are choosing between potential employers,” says Eolas Recruitment Senior Technical Consultant Nicola Byrne.

“In the tech sector, where shortage of skilled candidates can hold back a company’s ability to develop and grow, employers with a well thought out DEI strategy that is reflected in their job descriptions and adverts can differentiate themselves from their competitors. That’s a big advantage in the current market,” says Nicola.

So, what is DEI?

Diversity is about recognising difference and acknowledging the benefit of having a range of perspectives in an organisation. While some differences are visible (like gender, race or disability), many others (like autism, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation) are invisible.

Equity is about fairness in procedures, policies and resource allocation. The objective is to ensure that everyone is treated the same and has access to the same resources and opportunities.

Inclusion is about enabling everyone in the organisation to contribute and thrive.

DEI in action

In the last few years, with evidence emerging that DEI can improve a company’s performance, stimulate innovation and make it easier to attract and retain talent, it’s not surprising that companies are setting goals and seeking to enhance their reputation in this area.

Leading tech industry players like Google, Apple, Meta and Microsoft all publish details of their progress towards achieving DEI goals while organisations like CIPD provide resources to promote and support DEI in the workplace.

DEI barriers

Yet despite increased investment, a lack of role models, particularly at leadership level, is one of the key barriers to achieving DEI goals.

Eolas Recruitment Principal Consultant Stephen Daly, cites Ireland’s gender gap in tech as an example of an area where faster progress is needed. Only around 30% of ICT workers in Ireland are female according to CSO statistics for the first quarter of 2022.

Says Stephen, “The question of how to attract more women into the tech sector has been around for decades. We really need to be taking action much earlier if we are ever going to get to grips with this. In education, for example we need to improve teachers’ understanding of tech related careers. But at a broader level, tackling diversity is about much more than just addressing the gender gap. It’s also about things like addressing bias in hiring, people management, workplace processes, even algorithms. We’re starting to see greater awareness, particularly in larger organisations and growth-focused companies, that failing to do this potentially excludes a significant talent pool—something employers don’t want to do in a sector where there is fierce competition for candidates.”

Mission-led

Another trend that employers need to take into account is candidates’ desire to contribute to society and the greater good. This is particularly strong among early- and mid-career candidates, says Stephen.

“Generation Z and millennials are highly mission-driven. They want to understand the significance of their role, what they will accomplish and why it matters. Companies with a strong mission who can provide clear answers to these questions have an advantage and are more likely to find that employees stay with them for a longer time. So, this is another trend we advise employers to keep in mind when planning and developing career paths and hiring strategies.”

Does my workforce look like me?

As in most spheres of life, there can be a difference between what organisations say they do and what they actually do in practice.

“You might think your company embraces diversity, but asking, ‘Does my workforce look like me?’ can be a revealing question,” says Nicola.

“If the answer is ‘yes’, you probably have scope to improve your DEI.”

How to improve DEI

Promoting DEI is not a once-off initiative. It is an ongoing process and progress needs to be tracked. The first step is to secure management and board level buy-in as without this, success is unlikely.

Typically, enhancing DEI involves identifying gaps in your organisation and checking for biases in your people management processes, including hiring policies.

Once you have developed a strategy, practical actions to support it include investing in training for management, team leaders and staff.

Impact on recruitment

From a recruitment perspective, addressing DEI typically involves widening the talent pool, looking for opportunities to accommodate flexible working and reviewing job descriptions and job adverts to check for bias. In addition, companies who provide opportunities for interns may need to review their internship policy.

As always, if you are a company seeking to source candidates for IT roles, Eolas Recruitment would like to assist you. With more than 20 years’ experience in the IT sector, we understand what you are looking for and have the resources to manage every stage of your hiring process, from identifying candidates to screening applicants, arranging interviews and negotiating contracts. Now is the time to anticipate and plan for future needs bearing in mind that in a tight labour market, focusing on DEI can improve your talent pipeline.

Likewise, if you are a tech worker looking for opportunities to advance your career, please register with Eolas Recruitment so that we can alert you to relevant roles. We also recommend keeping an eye on our job listings. You can find out more about how we work with candidates by viewing our informational videos and reading our online reviews.

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My fresh experience with eolas recruitment was excellent and amazing, Peter Kirby and Caoimhe Cronin was really supportive and professional, guided me through the entire interview process and supported me every moment before and after the interview. I am very grateful to eolas as my recruiting agency. Thank you for the great service you offered.Lijumol Shaji
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I was with Caroline on securing a position with a tech company.The job specification on the position was clear. I was also able to get a salary range the position offered and not "competitive salary" answer.The company I applied for was a bit slow at getting back. Eolas followed up with what the delay was and kept me up to date with what was happening.Got interviews: YesGot Job Specs: YesGot Salary Range: YesGot Position: YesThomas
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One of the best recruitment companies in Ireland. Alan from Eolas helped me right from day 1 of my process and is even catching up with me after getting an offer letter. A big thanks to Eolas and Alan for their commitment in getting candidates the right job in top companies.
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My experience with Eolas was a fantastic one It was a pleasure dealing with Peter Kirby who was very professional. Throughout the interview process his advice and guidance proved to be extremely helpful. I received help preparing for my interview. I was thoroughly informed about what the interview was going to be like. I was also kept up to date with my progress after the interview. The turnaround time was phenomenal! I recommend the Eolas team to anyone searching for a new position.
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Peter Kirby from Eolas Recruitment has been a great help throughout the hiring process. He had contacted me for a potential opportunity and assisted me right from interview preparation to the offer confirmation. He was a great help for seamless communication with the company and clarified all my doubts in the timely fashion.
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My recent experience with Eolas was excellent and refreshing. Nicola is a total professional and guided me through the interview process ensuring I was well prepared, following up after each stage and providing useful insight and tips. Best recruiter I have dealt with hands down.
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My experience with Eolas Recruitment was absolutely excellent. I dealt with Caoimhe for the whole process and she couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive if she tried, from start to finish she was there to help me with whatever I needed be it tips or answering questions I was confused about or even keeping in contact with the employer for me, we regularly spoke on the phone where she made the whole process smooth and easy and I can not thank her enough for everything she has done for me. 12/10 service.
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