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Tech Industry: Perception Gap & Inclusion

Rachel Reed
9/24/20 10:35 AM

Increased remote work across the globe makes the industry ripe for disruption. A industry built on its propensity for the disruption of the status quo, technology will no doubt lead the charge in who, how, and when work gets done in the years ahead. When it comes to employee experience in the tech industry, the outlook is mixed. 

It’s the same breadth and speed of innovation which has given rise to a widening perception gap between leaders and employees and shined unwelcome light on lacking diversity across the sector. 

The United States is the largest tech market in the world, representing 32% of the total, or approximately $1.7 trillion for 2020. Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.9 trillion in 2020, an increase of 3.4% from 2019, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. There were 307,000 new tech jobs added in 2019 and nearly 822,000 tech job posts were for emerging tech areas. 

Hiring difficulties are on the rise: following a historical unemployment rate coupled with the increasing complexity of tech job skills, companies are having to compete with not only other tech for talent, but also with non-tech organizations which are increasingly tech-driven in the wake of global digital transformation. 

Perception Gap & Lacking Inclusion

There is an increasingly large gap between what leaders think the culture represents and what employees report. According to Accenture, two thirds of leaders (68 percent) feel they create empowering environments—in which employees can be themselves, raise concerns and innovate without fear of failure—but just one third (36 percent) of employees agree.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives represent another disparity between what leaders believe and what employees report: Although 30% of companies feel that there has been significant improvement in the diversity of the tech workforce over the past two years, previous CompTIA research has shown that sentiment tends to skew more positive than reality on this topic. In fact, while 78 percent of respondents to a Deloitte survey believed inclusion to be a competitive advantage, a mere 6 percent of respondents indicated that their organizations actually tie diversity and inclusion outcomes to performance management and compensation.

The main difference between the two is that diversity is a state of being and is not itself something that is “governed,” while inclusion is a set of behaviors and can be “governed.”

Therefore, this report emphasizes the board’s role in governing inclusion. This by no means diminishes the importance of diversity and the need to continue to drive progress. On the contrary, boards should engage in conversations with management about improving diversity, and this in itself is an inclusive practice.

Download: How Employee Recognition Influences Attitude & Behavior in the Workplace 

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