A few weeks ago, I asked Twitter some questions, and specifically asked those in a minority in tech (non white men) to complete some basic questions to get a litmus test of what they want in their environment in order to consider working somewhere.
The results confirmed a few things I’d been noticing myself, but didn’t have the data to back up. I want to share, so that employers out there who are asking to create and build diverse teams understand a bit more what that means from them in organisational change.
Some things that stand out:
- flexible hours are really important for women
- the majority of women answering get hired by their friends (in my experience, this is also the same for everyone else in our London tech bubble), so making sure you do grass roots engagement at diverse events is really helpful if you want to break out of hiring people just like you. Which let’s face it, means they’re statistically going to be a white male.
- there’s no one job board or place people flock to
Some things worth noting:
- I’m not a data scientist
- I filtered out all white male responses
- This is a very small sample (41 responses)
- Almost all respondents were white, so this has become about women instead of all minority data I was hoping to capture
Data I’m looking at in full, here > https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-LVRBGZ8D (NB: I’ve checked over all responses and feel it’s anonymous. If you answered and want your answers removed for any reason, just email Thayer)
There is no silver bullet to hiring diverse teams. We frequently get asked at Team Prime to Hire More Women (and it is women specifically, interestingly, rarely other minorities). We make sure that we do everything in our power to surface the opportunities and teams we work with across all communities – but we always put forward the best person for the role. We would never weight anyone based on anything other than their ability to do the job as the best prospective employee. And we also very specifically, never recommend a job or environment to someone we know wouldn’t like it. It’s not our style.
For an employer, the best thing you can do to Hire More Women (or other minority group in tech) and create diverse teams is to look at your company as a whole, and see how you can restructure from within in order to make yourselves more appealing to everyone in the community. This means considering flexible hours, places of work, language used, management structures (get diversity on your board first, then think about the rest of the team!) and pay structures that value all staff, not just those who can negotiate the best. When you start thinking about those parts of your setup, you’ll find diversity happens as part of the journey.
My takeaway? The team you attract reflects the core values you have, not the ones you want.
Some further reading from Theo at Nesta:
- Diversity pays (PDF from Dowjones.com)
- ‘One fifth of total growth in U.S. output per worker between 1960 and 2008 was due to a decline in discrimination.’