Why diversity and inclusion are important in tech

We remain committed to true equality for all

We always say: talent is everywhere, opportunity isn’t.

It’s an unfortunate truth that while technology is one of the most flexible and accessible industries available, there is still a lot of work to do to make tech a truly diverse and inclusive workplace for all.

Day by day, we’re making progress – listening to our employees and building a culture that champions equality. And as we do, we must remember why diversity and inclusion are important in tech.

Your employees will feel more valued

When an employee joins a new company, they already face the trepidation of meeting new colleagues and responsibilities in their role. This can be severely compounded if they don’t work with many people of a similar background to them. At a company level, it also can be disheartening for someone to hear values and holidays of one background celebrated while yours is forgotten.

The workplace should never feel like a ‘separate’ space away from someone’s ‘regular’ life – they should feel comfortable and included at both a personal and company level. When they are, people do their best work and feel more fulfilled in their jobs. Explore how your company could improve its values and policies to make more of your workers feel represented.

If you are struggling to assess how your company could improve its diversity and inclusion, consider partnering with an external company like FuturePlus. We work with FuturePlus to score our organisation against industry benchmarks and create a roadmap for improved environmental, social and governance matters. Using a third-party can help you ask critical questions of your company, set milestones for improvement, and ultimately make changes that will improve the daily life of your staff.

From Nuha Al-Shabi, Ten10 Consultant

“A major part of me enjoying being with Ten10 is the welcoming environment that embraces differences and offers respect for my different background and religion as a Muslim middle eastern. The support I have been given and shown through my four-year journey at Ten10 always inspires me to perform my best with a feeling of belonging. There were even times when the company started initiatives to help me support charitable cases in my home country. That meant the world to me. I believe implementing diversity and inclusion boosts employee engagement, buys employee loyalty and raises satisfaction, which of course increases business productivity and innovation in the long run.”

Information Technology Connection Graphics Concept

Your company benefits from diversity of thought

If a workforce is wholly composed of people from the same background, you are severely limiting your organisation’s ability to innovate and generate new solutions. This is most often considered from an academic perspective – the common belief being that hiring people from a STEM degree background is essential for all STEM positions. Not only is this not the case, but you’ll find that people of similar backgrounds often approach problems similarly, meaning having a diverse workforce is essential to challenge existing ways of thinking.

Away from the educational perspective, employees bring valuable insights from their differences –knowledge of different cultures and customs is invaluable experience when working in international markets. Ultimately, people are a sum of all their experiences so why wouldn’t you want as many different experiences on your team to create the best solutions possible?

From Christy Onoriobe, Ten10 Consultant

“I think by improving diversity and inclusion, tech companies can respond effectively to the changing needs of their clients – which is in line with Ten10’s strategy.”

From Kamal Safdar, Ten10 Consultant

“Diversity and inclusion are important in technology they are in all other industries and lines of work. The beauty of technology is its reach, convenience, and rapid speed. But if it’s created and controlled by selected groups, for selected groups, then it will be limited to what the contributors are capable of. That’s a huge disadvantage for those left out. Being diverse and inclusive widens the spectrum of what goes into the technology and what comes out of it – it receives influence, ideas, talent, skills and knowledge from people of all backgrounds. Technology utilising industries would suffer greatly if they became monochromatic and left out people whether it was because of their skin colour, place of birth, disability, gender, religion or other means of grouping people.”

Software engineers working on project and programming in company. Startup business group working as team to find solution to problem. Woman programmer working on computer with colleagues standing by.

Making a difference now will pay dividends in the future

A PwC report into the UK tech industry showed that just 23% of people working in STEM roles across the country are female. And when people don’t see other people like them working in a field, they become discouraged from entering it themselves. That’s how Olivia, one of our Ten10 Academy Engineers, felt before she joined us:

“While studying, some of my modules were mixed with Computer Science students, who were 98% male. When you don’t see people like you represented somewhere, that can easily put up a bit of a mental hurdle. You think ‘if nobody who does it looks like me, it probably isn’t for me’ so tech didn’t appeal to me at the time.”

Racial diversity is also a serious issue for the tech industry, with even its biggest companies falling short. At Microsoft and Facebook, black employees make up just 4.7% and 2.1% of the respective workforces according to Microsoft and Facebook’s own diversity reports.

Diversity is not a one-off metric that needs to be balanced by the end of a company year – it needs a generational view. More people will pursue a career in tech if they see others from their background represented and trusted in positions of power. It removes the mental hurdle that people like Olivia experience when they should be exploring possibilities and discovering what career is right for them. That is why decisions made and initiatives started today have an impact long into the future.

We're committed to making tech fair and equal

Learn more about Ten10’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as our other company values, here.