How can we make tech more inclusive?

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Promoting and supporting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management, it’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. To benefit from a diverse workforce, it’s vital to develop an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential. While UK law covers protected characteristics and sets minimum standards, an effective diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond legal responsibility and aims to add value to an organisation. This contributes to employee well-being and engagement.

Celebrate all achievements equally

When promoting inclusivity within the tech sector, it can be hard as a business to strike the right balance. Going too far one way can alienate people and seem patronising, which is detrimental to the cause. Instead, it is best practice to celebrate everybody and remove gender signifiers where possible. Identifying people because of their achievements first, not their gender.

Use ‘they’ when giving feedback or discussing work

When it comes to providing feedback or discussing work, we must not assume that a developer or designer is male and automatically use the term “he”. It may be done subconsciously or said without thinking, but it reinforces the belief that tech is a “man’s world”, which can lead to the alienation of women and those who identify as non-binary.

Include everybody

Imposter syndrome is real and it can be felt by anybody, so it’s important that this is taken into consideration. In meetings, it is crucial that if you are leading the discussion, you ensure everybody has their say. If you notice somebody is nervous or avoiding getting involved, ask them questions, be patient and do not allow them to be interrupted. Everybody should be given an opportunity to make their point heard and feel like their ideas and opinions matter.

Be mindful

Inclusivity should be a priority in all situations. It’s important to be mindful of your conversations and try to include everyone. Try to find common interests with your team and ensure conversations and team incentives do not exclude anyone. Nobody should have to try to fit in where a situation is not of interest to them or worse, against their values.

A diverse team equals better productivity

If you have a diverse team, the wide range of qualities and individuality they bring will aid the development of bigger and better ideas, allowing your products or services to reach a wider audience. By playing to the strengths of your team on an individual basis, you will boost morale, foster job satisfaction and create a more positive atmosphere.

Further Reading: How to Eliminate Gender Bias in the Workplace