Learn how to find your target audience and match your business goals with their needs: Get the Target Audience Persona Template

7 Ways to Empower Underrepresented Groups in the Tech Industry

by Deborah Iroegbu

June 29, 2023

Share:

The modern world is now driven by the technology sector, which is transforming our lives in ways we never could have anticipated. It fuels our economy, propels our communication, and transforms how we live and work.

However, there is a significant disparity when it comes to representation in the tech industry, with certain groups being underrepresented, particularly women, racial and ethnic minorities, and individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds. To bridge this gap, it is crucial to empower these underrepresented groups by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and opportunities to thrive in the tech sector.

What is Diversity in Tech?

Diversity in tech is all about adding fresh perspectives to a historically homogeneous and frequently exclusive sector. Women and people of color are underrepresented in society today; according to Google, only 5.5% of recruits in 2020 were Black+ (and only 6.6% were Latinx). Although diversity in tech is gradually spreading, it is doing so at a really slow pace. Diversity in the tech industry is not just a matter of social justice or feminism; it is also a strategic imperative. Numerous studies have shown that diverse teams are more innovative, creative, and better equipped to solve complex problems. By fostering an inclusive environment that reflects the diverse perspectives of our society, we can unlock new ideas and unleash the full potential of the tech industry.

Steps in Empowering Underrepresented Groups in the Tech Industry

 Equal Access to Education and Training

One of the key steps in empowering underrepresented groups in the tech industry is to provide equal access to education and training. Many individuals from these groups face systemic barriers that limit their access to quality education in the field of technology. By investing in initiatives that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in schools and colleges, we can lay the foundation for a diverse tech talent pool.

 Promoting Positive Role Models and Mentorship

To encourage young girls and women to pursue careers in technology, promoting positive role models and providing mentorship programs is essential. In Charisol, for instance, we take time to appreciate our women in tech and their extraordinary work. Women in tech can serve as inspiration and guide aspiring female technologists toward success. Additionally, organizations can collaborate with schools and community centers to establish coding clubs, hackathons, and workshops that expose young girls to the world of technology and encourage their interest in pursuing tech-related careers.

a group of people sitting around a table with laptops.

Source: Photo by faucets: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-wearing-white-dress-shirt-3184316/

 Overcoming Systemic Barriers

Addressing the racial and ethnic disparities in the tech industry requires targeted efforts to dismantle the systemic barriers that hinder the progress of minority groups. One way to achieve this is by establishing partnerships between technology companies and organizations that focus on empowering these communities. By providing scholarships, internships, and apprenticeships to talented individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, we can create pathways to success and overcome the historical disadvantages they face.

Fostering an Inclusive Culture

In addition to education and training, another critical aspect of closing the tech skills gap is fostering a culture of inclusivity within the industry itself. Technology companies must actively work towards eliminating bias and discrimination in hiring practices and create a welcoming environment for diverse talents. This entails putting diversity and inclusion programs into action, training on unconscious bias, and defining precise rules for equitable hiring and promotion procedures.

Empowering Through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Moreover, companies should prioritize creating employee resource groups (ERGs) that support underrepresented groups and provide a safe space for them to share experiences, network, and access professional development opportunities. ERGs can effectively influence corporate policies and practices to guarantee that diversity and inclusion are top priorities at all organizational levels.

Harnessing the Power of Mentorship

Mentorship and sponsorship programs are effective means of empowering underrepresented groups in the technology industry. Combining experienced experts with aspiring technologists from underrepresented backgrounds can give important mentorship, support, and career growth prospects. Companies can establish formal mentorship programs or collaborate with external organizations to create mentorship networks that connect individuals with relevant expertise and experiences.

Fostering Entrepreneurship

Another important aspect of empowering underrepresented groups in tech is enhancing entrepreneurship and providing resources for startups led by individuals from these communities. By offering funding, mentorship, and access to networks, we can enable aspiring entrepreneurs to form these groups to turn their ideas into successful tech ventures. Additionally, governments and industry bodies can play a significant role by creating programs and policies that provide financial support and resources specifically tailored to underrepresented entrepreneurs.

Conclusion

Closing the tech skills gap and empowering underrepresented groups in the tech industry requires a multi-faceted approach that involves collaboration between governments, educational institutions, technology companies, and community organizations. It is not a quick fix but a long-term commitment to creating lasting change.

At Charisol, we invest in diversity and inclusion, and tap into the immense talent and potential that exists within underrepresented groups, ultimately driving innovation and shaping a more inclusive and equitable tech industry for the future. It all begins with us!

 

Author

Picture of Deborah Iroegbu

Deborah Iroegbu

Related Articles