Diversity isn’t just important for technology – it’s an essential part of its future Business News

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How organizations can leverage one of tech’s biggest challenges – the lack of diversity – to solve another: the growing cloud skills gap

It’s no secret that technology has a diversity problem. For years, we’ve seen reports of bias against people of color in facial recognition software and gender-biased credit card algorithms. As recently as 2020, just 5.5% of new hires that year were black.

Historically, the space has been considered white male dominated. According to a survey, Silicon Valley’s total estimated black, Hispanic, and indigenous population stood at a meager 5%. And that was before the pandemic.

Then there is the impact of the pandemic itself. We know the pandemic has opened up some opportunities for minority groups – the shift to remote working has made many roles more accessible to people with disabilities, for example. We also know that it has hampered efforts to dramatically increase more diverse hiring across multiple sectors and has had a greater negative impact on female workers than on their male counterparts.

And there’s one more thing the pandemic has had: it’s changed the face of the tech industry, in many ways for good.

How the pandemic has reshaped technology

In 2020, the pandemic has sparked a frantic race for businesses in almost every industry to deliver their services or products virtually, virtually overnight.

This process, known as digital transformation, has been a buzzword in recent years, but its roots date back to the late 90s, and during and after the shutdowns it has become increasingly essential for businesses. businesses looking to survive in modern, digital markets. .

In fact, it’s so essential in a post-pandemic world that high-profile figures have estimated that nearly two years of digital transformation were accomplished in the first two months of the pandemic alone. And it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down yet.

Why the growing skills gap has turned from a problem to a disaster

In 2019, the skills gap was estimated to have an estimated $302 billion impact on businesses – in just one year. Since then, the tech skills gap has grown so much that this figure has been revised to $775 billion worldwide.

And in an industry where skilled professionals were already incredibly scarce, many companies’ attempts to rebuild post-pandemic and digitally transform have — quite simply — been decimated.

Nearly 80% of IT decision makers surveyed in 2021 see lack of digital skills as the number one challenge to meeting current and future business needs. With so few tech professionals available, companies have quickly become overly dependent on increasingly in-demand contractors, and many companies have fallen behind on critical digital transformation projects. This is a huge problem for technology, for two reasons.

First, when candidates are already scarce, diversity becomes an issue that fewer and fewer companies can devote resources to improving. This risks permanently excluding women, people of color and other marginalized groups, undoing years of collective work to improve diversity in our sector.

Second, such a shortage of candidates in the space could hamper the overall economic recovery of the sector and lead to billions in lost revenue. Ultimately, if the technology skills gap is not closed over the next five years, we could risk losing $12 trillion in global GDP revenue by 2028.

Using one problem to solve another

Historically, the lack of representation in technology has been an incredibly complex challenge, often compounded by the skills gap seen across multiple technologies. Not only has talent creation in the sector struggled to meet the demand for talent, but the talent that has been generated has been overwhelmingly white and male.

These problems are complex and intersecting: the more the skills gap increases, the less companies are able to improve their diversity, which subsequently reduces their field of search for new candidates and further increases their skills gap.

When we created Revolent, we knew that our industry’s best answer to closing the skills gap was to focus on diversity, so we made sure that encouraging diverse and inclusive hiring was one of our key organizational strategies.

Diversity and the skills gap are perhaps our two biggest enemies, but they are by no means unrelated. It’s not like 20 years ago when you had to pay hefty bootcamp or college fees to learn specialized computer technology. Theoretically, anyone with an internet connection can learn the basics of cloud technologies, as the internet has leveled access to learning resources. What is often lacking is the support and opportunity to apply this knowledge in practice.

All it takes is for the right organization, with a good understanding of how to build diverse technical teams, to come along and match professionals interested in retraining or cross-training with the thousands of companies that have desperately need…

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This notice was published: 2022-04-20 09:52:09

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