i3 | November 30, 2021

CTA's Inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Study

Megan Hauck
Shapes of differently colored human faces made out of paper

This year, CTA embarked on its first-ever diversity and inclusion study, Diversity and Inclusion: Driving Sustainable Change in the Workplace, to gain insights on the technology industry’s efforts incorporating diversity and inclusion initiatives into their business models. We assessed diversity and inclusion in the workplace, strategic priorities and measurement, and the challenges the technology industry faces in implementing changes.

Our research shows that diversity and inclusion in the workplace is highly important to our members and that it drives employee productivity, performance, engagement, fosters creativity and innovation, and positively impacts recruiting and retention of employees. CTA members surveyed for this study universally stated that diversity and inclusion is a priority for their organizations and an important factor in driving innovation and overall success.

Organizations are placing a heavy focus on recruitment, training and employee development initiatives to increase representation among historically underrepresented groups, including racial/ethnic minorities, women, acknowledged LGBTQ+, individuals with disabilities, veterans, individuals over age 50, and religious minorities. In fact, 80% of people surveyed are systemically widening recruitment pools to tap new sources of talent, while 78% are providing employee development and training to improve the potential advancement of underrepresented people.

Just the Beginning

Accountability is being measured through employee feedback and companies’ own internal data. While most organizations (45% of those surveyed) indicate their company is on-track to meeting their diversity and inclusion goals, leaders recognize there is still a lot of work to be done and that driving change is challenging and takes time.

While each organization has their own unique challenges, 61% of CTA member companies agreed that employee development was the easiest activity to change, followed closely by recruitment initiatives (55%). However, leaders expressed concern about potential workforce and hiring challenges. As we move into post-pandemic times, work flexibility, including remote and hybrid options, are effective alternatives and suggest that recruitment isn’t necessarily bound by geographical boundaries. One thing is certain — advancing diversity and inclusion is key to driving business forward.

The research study shows that diversity and inclusion initiatives directly impact innovation, creativity, and productivity. To create greater access and mobility for underrepresented voices, CTA is investing $10 million in venture firms and funds investing in startups led by women, people of color and other underrepresented populations. Additionally, our Diversity and Inclusion Working Group is a platform for member companies to share best practices, address challenges and develop strategies to create a diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem. This study is a direct result of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group’s key initiatives. We encourage you to read and spend time digesting the findings in our inaugural study.

GO ONLINE: CTA’s Diversity and Inclusion: Driving Sustainable Change in the Workplace
is now available to download.

i3 magazine November/December 2021 cover

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