Diversity in the information technology field has been hot topic for the past several months. Research implies that company culture plays a significant role in driving women and underrepresented groups away from IT jobs. However, experts debate whether it’s really a “pipeline” or “culture” problem. Either way, change is in order.
In her latest article, Dark Reading’s Lysa Myers tackles the subject and challenges us to think outside the box in order to bring about change:
There is a general consensus that how you word an ad matters in terms of who applies. According to a recent study reported in Science Magazine, women and other minority groups may avoid careers that seem to require “natural aptitude” rather than hard work and knowledge.
Likewise, they may avoid applying for jobs where they don’t appear to meet all the criteria especially when the requirements appear to be over-inflated or aspirational, rather than accurately describing what the position truly requires. Making small tweaks in things like title wording may bring surprising changes in those who apply.
Now that you’ve got a pool of qualified applicants, how do you whittle it down to the best fit for the position? Once again, you can experiment with doing things a new way.
Certain types of interviews may narrow your list of candidates unnecessarily. For example, daylong interview marathons or weeklong “tryouts” may exclude otherwise excellent candidates if they’re not able to get away from existing commitments such as a job, school or childcare. Not only that, but such extensive interviews may bias your results towards extraverts, as introverts may find so much uninterrupted face-time incredibly taxing.
Hiring people with different perspectives can lead to wonderful innovation and, even the ability to reach a broader market for your products. You don’t have to overhaul your company to achieve this either. Small changes that bring new ideas and experiences will lead to greater workplace diversity, innovation, and, ultimately, broader success.
For more information regarding diversity in IT, read the full Dark Reading article.
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