Diversity in Tech: Why It Matters

Every year, for the last 5 years, I’ve spent a morning with a sociology class at my local university (courtesy of Prof. Kate Ayers), talking about my experience working in technology over the years. I specifically talk about diversity in hiring and why technology companies are increasingly emphasizing hiring across a diverse pool of candidates. Lack of diversity in tech has been a serious historical problem.

Yet I keep talking about it because I believe that the future of tech is diverse, and if we miss this cultural moment, we’ll also miss the (significant) business benefits and the ethical uplift that will come by building a better society. 

I came to this position after analyzing Intel’s decision to report on diversity numbers. 

After looking at the data, I understand that in tech we need to be seizing not only this cultural moment, but also because this cultural moment is a potential business sea-change, and we need to anticipate this and be ahead of this, if not just for the ethical implications, but also because it’s simply good business. Basically, we can do better — and it turns out that being better in this critical regard makes you more money. 

study from McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are “more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.”

And the bottom quartile of these dimensions? They are statistically less likely to achieve these returns.

As mentioned in their findings, “diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.”

From a financial standpoint, according to Forbes, female tech entrepreneurs are able to generate 20% more revenue than their male counterparts – despite starting their companies with 50% less capital. 💪

On top of that, the European Commission calculates that through the further inclusion of women working in tech, the EU’s GDP could see an annual boost of €16 billion.

The numbers are even more incredible in the US. In Intel’s Decoding Diversity report, they concluded that diversity leads to higher revenues, profits and market value.

Here is some of the critical data behind these findings: