Unlocking Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in IT: A Fresh Perspective

A smiling black woman stands in front of a blue background with text that reads: "Unlocking Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in IT: A Fresh Perspective"

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are no longer just buzzwords — they’re essential for any successful organization. Companies are waking up to the fact that diverse teams bring fresh ideas, improve employee morale, and create more welcoming workplaces. As Executive Vice President of Talent Solutions at Per Scholas, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of DEI firsthand. Working with our network of 850+ employers, I’ve seen how diverse teams consistently outperform in problem-solving, innovation, and ultimately, driving business results.

recent report dives deep into the state of DEI in the Information Technology (IT) sector, shedding light on what’s working, what’s not, and where opportunities lie. Conducted by TEKsystems, the report surveyed a mix of IT and HR professionals, revealing some fascinating insights.

DEI Policies Are Growing Up

One big takeaway from the report is the growing maturity of DEI policies in companies. More than half of the decision-makers surveyed said their DEI policies are now advanced or mature, up from less than half the previous year. This shift signals that leaders are starting to understand the importance of fostering diverse and inclusive cultures for long-term success.

A Positive Shake Up In Leadership

Another interesting finding is the changing face of leadership. Nearly half of the organizations surveyed have their top DEI leaders sitting in the C-suite or other high-ranking positions. This shift shows a real commitment to making diversity a core part of business strategy, rather than just a side project.

hands lay on a computer's keyboard, the screen displays coding text

Everyone Agrees: Diversity Works

The report also found widespread agreement on the benefits of diversity initiatives. Around 80% of respondents said these initiatives are crucial for creating inclusive workplaces in IT. In 2020, McKinsey&Company published a study on the business case for diversity and inclusion. That report uncovered an analysis that companies prioritizing diversity among their leaders were more likely to have above-average profitability than their peers. Companies are recognizing the value of diverse perspectives in driving innovation and making them more resilient. Research by Catalyst found that companies with a DEI initiative result in a 49% improvement in problem-solving abilities, a 35% increase in engagement, and 20% of workers intend to stay in the organization longer.

Challenges Ahead

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Despite the progress, there are still challenges to overcome. One big issue is communication. Many employees aren’t clear on who their top DEI officer is, highlighting a need for better communication within companies. Employee Interest Groups (EIGs) and strategic storytelling can help to improve awareness about DEI initiatives and leadership, if businesses are willing to carve out more space for inclusion. 

a group of diverse professionals sit at a conference table with computers and papers in discussion

Enter Per Scholas

Amid these challenges, we at Per Scholas have a powerful solution. Our organization has spent the last 30 years perfecting our ability to source, engage, and train diverse talent pools. Dedicated to providing tuition-free tech training to underserved communities, we offer virtual training just as effective as in-person classes and keep our training up-to-date with the latest tech trends. Our graduates, most of whom are people of color and women, emerge from our programs ready to hit the ground running, making them a valuable asset in addressing the industry’s diversity problem head-on.

Empowering Diverse Talent: A Cost-Effective Solution

Our involvement in training reduces hiring risk and makes recruiting significantly more budget-friendly. Considering that it can cost organizations up to $500 per day to have open, unfilled tech positions on their teams, this approach becomes even more crucial. Also, our technologists have a 25-40% higher retention rate than those hired through traditional sources, resulting in major, long-term cost savings for companies.

Looking Ahead

As we move forward, it’s clear that DEI isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s essential for business success. By prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, companies can unlock the full potential of their teams and create a brighter, more inclusive future for everyone. If this is something your organization is looking for, let Per Scholas help! We want to work with you on all your DEI needs. Contact us at talentadvisors@perscholas.org to begin the conversation.

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Brittany Murrey

Brittany Murrey is the Executive Vice President, Talent Solutions at Per Scholas. In this role, Brittany is responsible for leading the Talent Solutions team partnering with our 850+ employer partners, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, building sustainable and diverse talent pipelines, together changing the face of tech.

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