A study conducted by Halcyon Knights found that 69% of tech employees in Australia believe that the biggest obstacles to achieving a truly diverse workforce are employer-driven issues related to unconscious bias, inclusive culture and lack of action. While there has been a slight reduction in the number of employees who reported experiencing discrimination, this may be attributed to employees leaving non-inclusive workplaces in favor of more inclusive ones.
The survey found that 23% of the respondents consider their workplace to be not inclusive even though it is already diverse in numbers. Half of them experienced having their ideas or credit stolen by others of a majority identity. This rate is higher for those who identified themselves at LBTQI+ at 73% and for people with disability at 85%. People of color, LBTQI+ and people with disability also reported being paid less for the same role compared to employees of majority identity.
Only 25% of tech employees reported that recruitment and retention of minorities are actively encouraged by company leadership of HR and only 20% are satisfied with their employers’ efforts to improve workplace diversity.
When it comes to gender issues, 28% reported gender parity in their tech teams. This means having at least 40% female and 40% male. For management level positions, only 23% reported gender parity. According to Halcyon Knights CEO Lincoln Benbow, inclusion goes beyond the numbers. He said that employers need to develop a culture of belonging and inclusive behaviors. This very important for talent recruitment and retention, especially now that the Australian tech sector is projected to experience a shortage of 200,000 skilled workers.