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diversity and inclusion

  • Stephanie Hollingshead posted an article
    The 2021 Diversity in Tech Dashboard numbers are out! Let’s break down what they say. see more


    How Diverse is BC's Tech Sector?

    HR Tech Group’s 2021 Diversity in Tech Dashboard reports year-over-year progress on representation of equity-deserving groups in the BC tech sector. The report is part of a larger multi-year project to improve the attraction, retention and advancement of women, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people of colour, newcomers to Canada, and individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA+ in skilled technology occupations throughout the province of British Columbia.

    The 2021 numbers are out! Let’s break down what they say.


    We’ve made tremendous progress with benchmarking our diversity.  171 employers participated this year, providing industry-wide data on DE&I policies and practices and employee representation. This was a 27% increase in participation from last year. Some categories saw tremendous increases in the amount of data collected and reported:   

    • 44% more data for the Indigenous demographic
    • 88% more data for the 2SLGBTQQIA+ demographic 


    36% of survey respondents told us they are tracking diversity demographics and another 38% are considering it or working on it now. This measurement was basically non-existent two years ago and now 1/3 are doing it and another 38% are considering it or working on it. This is a massive positive shift. 


    Where we have work to do is on actually increasing the representation of marginalized groups in our sector.  

    The report highlights two critical areas for improvement: 

    1. Our sector has significant overall gaps in representation, in particular with women, Indigenous peoples and people with disabilities.

    • 33.2% of employees surveyed self-identified as women
    • 0.7% self-identified as Indigenous peoples
    • 2.9% self-identified as people with disabilities 


    1. It also shows that representation plummets in the more highly paid technical and senior leadership roles.

    For example: 

    • While 41% of employees reported identifying as visible minorities, this dropped to 19% at the executive level. 
    • Only 15.6% of Software Developers identified as women. 

    Check out all the data in the 2021 Diversity in Tech Dashboard report here.


    Moving the needle on future reports will requires many organizations doing the hard work to increase representation within their own organizations. Measuring organizational diversity is step one. 

    Need some resources to support that? 

    1. Use our Benchmarking Toolkit – it includes a sample questionnaire and templates for asking employees to self-report on diversity.   
    2. Visit ouDE&I Resource HUB – this library has over 400 resources to support leaders in building more inclusive, equitable and diverse workplaces   

    For further discussion on this topic and ideas on how organizations can build more diverse and inclusive workplaces, check out this BIV podcast: HR Tech Group CEO Stephanie Hollingshead joins BIV’s Tyler Orton to discuss diversity in the BC tech sector



  • HR Tech Group posted an article
    How diverse is BC's tech sector? Our 2020 Diversity in Tech Dashboard provides some compelling data see more


    Current State of Diversification in BC’s Tech Sector

    A diverse and inclusive workplace culture drives innovation and new ideas and helps to attract, retain and develop talent. So how diverse is BC’s tech sector? 

    Our inaugural Diversity in Tech Dashboard provides us with some concrete numbers on the state of diversification in our tech sector.  The dashboard provides a benchmark for BC’s tech sector to track its progress on increasing the representation of under-represented groups within the sector over time.  

    So what did it reveal?

    Quite a bit about gender diversity. 

    Of the gender data collected for 14,132 employees in BC’s tech sector, 31.9% self-identified as women.

    However, those employees are concentrated at the lowest levels on job hierarchies, in entry level and para-professional roles. Representation of women drops to 16% at the Specialist level and 22% at the Senior / Lead level. 


    Only 15.2% of Software Developers, the largest job family within our Tech Salary Survey, self-identify as women.


    What else did the report reveal? Of the employee data reported, 

    • 43.3% self-identified as a visible minority
    • 2.1% self-identified as a person with a disability
    • 0.5% self-identified as an Indigenous person
    • 8.2% self-identified as LGBTQ/2S


    Representation of both people with disabilities and Indigenous peoples are well below the latest Statistics Canada census data for British Columbia.


    Lots of room for improvement.

    2020 has not been an easy year. We’re very pleased that so many companies took action this year and asked their employees to self-identify on diversity factors. For many companies that was a big leap of faith. For many employees too. We hope to grow the dataset in 2021 as more and more companies prioritize diversity and inclusion. 

    Join us in measuring organizational diversity! Ask your employees to self-report, using HR Tech Group’s free benchmarking questionnaire and toolkit. It’s available here!

    Measuring the diversity of your workforce sends a message that you value diversity. It also allows you to set goals and track progress over time.


    Read the complete  Diversity in Tech Dashboard for additional data on the state of diversification in BC's tech sector. 


  • Stephanie Hollingshead posted an article
    Keep reading to get some practical tips which will have you on your way in no time see more

    Have little time but lots of desire to make your workplace more diverse and inclusive? Not sure where to begin?

    Before we jump into suggestions, let’s review some interesting statistics*1:

    • Women make up 13% of the average Canadian tech company’s executive team.
    • 53% of Canadian tech companies have no women executives.
    • 73% of Canadian tech boards have no women directors at all!

    And the numbers grow even more bleak if we look at other underrepresented groups, such as people with disabilities and indigenous peoples.

    With all of this, it’s easy to be overwhelmed! If we want to build more inclusive and diverse workplaces, where do we even start???

    Start by taking one step towards where you want to go. Every mountain climbed started by taking one step! Taking a step towards building a more inclusive and diverse workplace will produce positive outcomes, and adding them up we can build a more inclusive and diverse organization in no time!

    Here are some ideas:

    • Look at your hiring stats. What percent of your applicants are from underrepresented groups? What about your new hires?
    • Talk about inclusion with your team. How are we unconsciously being exclusive to some people? What actions could we take to be more inclusive?
    • Consider who you are overlooking for promotion because you’ve made assumptions, consciously or not.
    • Set a SMART diversity goal for your organization or team! (SMART = Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related goals).
    • Want to know where you stand? Hire an external consultant to do a diversity and inclusion audit of your organization; they’ll provide you with the findings and also with suggested strategies and actions you can take.

    Check out this Conference Board of Canada blog post for some more practical suggestions: Disrupting Diversity + Inclusion: The Promise of Behaviour Design. The post discusses some pretty big concepts (like behavioral design, innovation and a whopping 150 cognitive biases), but it also drills it down to some really compelling insights and practical suggestions like this one:

    Behavioural insight: The first piece of information that we consume anchors us to that reference point. Design for inclusion: Remove school names from applications to increase recruits from less-known schools. This simple change resulted in 10 per cent more recruits from state schools at EY.

    What practical actions have you taken? Share them in the comments!

    Remember, taking one step is the only way to start climbing a mountain!!


    1 Where’s the Dial Now by PwC and MaRS Discovery District