Photo credit: @sage_solar

2016: A Multicultural Tech Industry

Written By: Jill Tseng

In the tech industry, workforce diversity has long been criticized for being predominately male and White. However, while change in the industry is subtle, much of the movement is led by some tech giants trying to improve their employee demographic data by polishing their hiring policy.

So, why are these tech giants interested in creating a diverse workforce? The need for creativity and innovation is a huge motivator. According to Harvard Business School research, a culturally diverse social network helps improve creative problem solving, which is the key to innovation in an increasingly competitive market. So many tech companies now realize that they should have more than just one kind of point of view, meaning that they need talented people with different backgrounds, knowledge and  cultural inspiration to not only hatch good ideas but also bring forward new ways to solve problems. Additionally, more and more tech companies are now focusing on the global customer. They need multicultural leaders to help them understand customers worldwide and create suitable products for them. Due to this need, tech companies are now becoming more inclusive and willing to reveal their employee diversity data to attract talented people.

So where should these tech companies seek for the human capital in the U.S. workforce market? After knowing that most of the baby boomers are retiring and that the size of generation X is relatively small, it’s clear that the up and coming multicultural, millennial generation drives most of this opportunity.

It’s important for tech employers to understand what it means to be a multicultural millennial and how to cue into characteristics, specific skill sets and preferences in the job market. In general the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, is born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. In 2011, Millennials have already accounted for between 50 million and 80 million of the population, which was nearly as large as the population of the Baby Boomers. From a recent report, we know that Millennials are now 20% of the U.S. population and 45% of them have identified as Non-White.

Millennials are tech-savvy (they’re the first generation that have grown up around digital media), well educated, optimistic, and team-oriented. They love to share on  social networks and understand the feasibility of being able to always connect via various technologies. Though Millennials are extremely digitally social, they also put a great emphasis on their family and for this reason they  favor work-life balance. According to “The Next America” report published by Pew Research, the used-to-be-minority groups, such as Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians and all the others, are now taking lead among Millennials in the U.S. Reflective of this, it’s even more clear that this generation prefers their work place to value diversity and create an environment that is inclusive.
Photo credit: woohoo_megoo

Photo credit: woohoo_megoo

In addition, this generation is looking to work  with positive people and in a friendly environment; while working, they want to have fun and be challenged; they expect to be treated respectfully in reference to their cultural characteristics; and last but not least, Millennials want to have flexible schedules and be paid well just like others.

Photo credit: Shane Global

Photo credit: Shane Global

So which tech companies capture an environment with a Multicultural Millennial mindset that caters to these standards?  In order to answer this question we first referred to published employee demographic data from tech companies and ranked the top tech companies that are the most diverse based on Gender and Race : (Ranking based on data from July 2015)

  1. Pinterest
  2. Tumblr, Flickr, and Yahoo!
  3. LinkedIn
  4. eBay
  5. Amazon
  6. Facebook
  7. Instagram
  8. Pandora
Photo credit: mkhmarketing

Photo credit: mkhmarketing

 

In 2014 this same type of ranking included: LinkedIn, Apple, eBay, Indiegogo & Yahoo (tied), Pinterest, Pandora, Face Book, Intel & Google (tied), twitter, Cisco, HP, Microsoft. From looking at both years it’s obvious which companies have made progress and which are stagnant.

In addition to the companies mentioned,  “The 25 Best Global Companies to work for” (Fortune website, 2015) is a great article to make a cross-comparison analysis and draw conclusions on the top 10 Best Tech jobs. We invite you to create your top 10 and share them with us!

Lastly, it’s concerning that only Gender and Race standards are used in hiring practices in order to make headways towards greater diversity in the workforce. From our perspective, Gender and Race are just a portion of what it means to be diverse and inclusive. Additional standards that are important to include are different age sets, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic status and etc. While progress has been slow in accomplishing this, soon it will become a bigger responsibility for this multicultural generation to make bigger leaps in changing the face of the workforce.

Written By: Jill Tseng

References:
Bannon, S., Ford, K., & Meltzer, L. (2011). Understanding Millennials in the workplace. The CPA Journal81(11), 61.
Carson, B. (2015, August 27). A head of diversity is the new must-have position at tech companies. Retrieved from Business Insider website:
http://www.businessinsider.com/tech-companies-hiring-head-of-diversity-2015-8
Craig, C. (2015, May 8). Wanted: Greater diversity in tech – but how? Retrieved from Info World website: http://www.infoworld.com/article/2919869/it-careers/wanted-tech-companies-seek-more-diverse-workforce.html
Dickey, M.R. (2015, July 28). What a truly diverse tech company would look like? Retrieved from Tech Crunch website: http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/28/what-a-truly-diverse-tech-company-would-look-like/
Florida, R., & Gates, G. (2002). TECHNOLOGY AND TOLERANCE. Diversity and high-tech growth. Brookings Review20(1), 32-36.
Information is Beautiful. (2015, July). Diversity in Tech (visualizations about the information). Retrieved from Information is Beautiful website: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/diversity-in-tech/
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Mclntosh, S. (2015, April 28). Why Technology companies need a diverse workforce. Retrieved from Jobber Tech Talk website:
http://www.jobbertechtalk.com/why-technology-companies-need-a-diverse-workforce-steve-mcintosh/
Mercury Mambo. (2015, August 18). Targeting the multicultural millennial consumers — A 2016 Multicultural Project.
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