How to Support Diversity Within Your Workplace

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Diversity and inclusion in tech is no longer a niche concept or ‘nice to have’. It’s increasingly seen as the foundation of an ethical and high-performing business – and it’s about time!

But what does diversity and inclusion look like in practice? To put it as succinctly as possible, it means an organisation with a workforce that reflects the society it operates in.

While technology employers have made good strides in recent years, the industry as a whole isn’t quite there yet. In the UK, women represent just 26% of tech workers, despite representing half of the overall labour market. Meanwhile BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) people consist of 15.2% of all tech employees, despite making up 20% of the UK’s general population, according to research from Tech Nation.

We understand it can be tricky for organisations to work out where to even start with tackling diversity issues – especially when there are resource constraints, which are all too common. With that in mind, we’ll outline the key strategies employers can use to make their workplaces more inclusive and reflective of the overall community.

Gather Diversity Data and Set Goals

As the old business saying goes, you can’t improve what you can’t measure and this especially relevant for improving diversity in the workplace.

Before you think about what diversity goals you should work towards, start gathering all the data you can on what diversity currently looks like within the organisation.

Survey your employees to gauge the level of support and inclusivity they see in their teams and the organisation. Do people feel seen and heard at work? Are their contributions acknowledged and valued? Analysing the responses to these questions can highlight areas for improvement.

Armed with an accurate picture of your workforce, you can set diversity-boosting goals such as quotas for recruitment, introducing flexible working options, making the criteria for promoting employees more objective and adding pay equity policies to name a few examples.

Prioritise Diversity When Hiring

Hiring managers are the lynchpins of diversity efforts. If they don’t understand and actively support diversity and inclusion efforts, they’re less likely to hire and champion people from minority backgrounds and marginalised groups.

It’s entirely possible that outdated and inappropriate attitudes or assumptions might be lurking within your organisation. Often referred to as ‘unconscious bias’, this results in hiring managers forming an opinion about candidates based on implicit stereotyping rather than the individual’s merit.

So, how do you tackle this problem? Raising awareness is the crucial first step. Learn more about how bias appears in the recruitment process, talk to your managers about it and brainstorm ideas for minimising it.

Other practical steps you can take include adjusting the language used in your job ads and establishing quotas to ensure candidate shortlists are diverse.

Setting specific hiring goals has become popular among the largest tech organisations, as more companies realise well-articulated objectives can spur the right action. Examples of this include:

  • HP’s head of HR for UK and Ireland stated the company is working towards 50/50 gender equality in its leadership by 2030, along with employing women in more than 30% of its technical and engineering roles by the same year.
  • VMware’s CEO said no job-hiring process will end unless a minority candidate is interviewed.
  • Mozilla has committed to doubling the percentage of Black and Latinx representation of its 1,000-person U.S. staff.

Although there is plenty of great work an organisation can do on its own, you’ll likely find there is only so much time in each day. Engaging the expertise of a software engineering recruitment specialist can also give you access to a much broader pool of candidates.

Acknowledge and Celebrate Differences

Improving diversity isn’t a corporate program, it’s ultimately about making the world a better place. So don’t forget one of the most enjoyable aspects of a diverse workplace – the celebrations!

Recognising the cultural customs and holidays celebrated by the people in your teams is a great way to show all employees they are visible and valued within the business. Perhaps you can add some dedicated ‘cultural days’ to the company calendar where team members get to share food and celebrate their heritage. Get as creative as you can – make the occasion fun and interactive.

Another way to acknowledge and celebrate differences is to give employees time and space to observe their customs. For example, providing dedicated rooms so employees can perform their prayers or meditations during the workday.

Offering flexible leave for mandatory holidays is another way to give people the space to be their authentic selves at work. This form of flexible leave allows employees to swap the standard national public holidays for time off to attend holidays and festivities that are important to them.


Diversity and inclusion is ultimately a journey, not a one-off goal. Think of D&I as an ongoing commitment and a set of principles. Remember that data should help shape your diversity goals and hiring manager awareness is pivotal. Finding ways to celebrate different identities can make for a more vibrant work culture, so don’t forget to have fun!

As tech recruitment specialists, we’re deeply familiar with the diversity challenges employers face. If you’re ready to find new approaches to hiring, we’re all set to help you. Get in touch with our team to take the next step on your diversity journey.

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