How can Irish businesses attract diverse technology talent ?

Sarah Fallon our consultant managing the role

We’ve recently talked about the latest technology hiring trends. In that article, my colleague briefly touched on the classical issues surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in tech, like the gender pay gap and the benefits of having a business culture which embraces EDI. In terms of Ireland specifically, the lack of diversity in technology is deeply troubling. And the sectors unwillingness to utilise workers from non-degree educations or hire people from underrepresented backgrounds, like women, people of colour, different religions and disabilities, will leave the industry lacking in various ways. However, the key to having a truly diverse and inclusive workplace is to ensure these people are not only recruited, but retained and promoted. 

What steps can Irish businesses take to ensure they employ a diverse technology team? 

Nurture an inclusive business culture 

Workplace diversity and inclusion has long been front of mind with our clients in Ireland, and it is easy to see why. A global study by Deloitte found that diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. And, research from McKinsey shows greater diversity in the workforce results in greater profitability and value creation. 

There are easy steps businesses can take to foster a diverse and inclusive environment, these include: 

  •  Reviewing your recruitment processes to ensure they are fair and equitable
  • Embedding flexible working into your business plan
  • Ensure that social activities aren’t always alcohol related
  • Recognise days and holidays with significance to communities, such as: Diwali, Eid, International Women’s Day, Hanukkah, Black History Month in October, Pride Month in June, etc
  • Ensure employees feel empowered to share their beliefs and values
  • Make every new hire aware that your company is a safe place for every gender, race, sexual orientation, culture, or disability
  • Communicate that workplace discrimination will not be tolerated

Embrace talent from non-traditional backgrounds

A survey by I Wish, a community which showcases the power of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) to teenage girls in Ireland, found 78% of girls felt that the lack of choices is a barrier to a future career in STEM. However, this perception isn’t just highly damaging to attracting talent to technology, but the wider STEM job market, as Irish society risks excluding women and girls from a portion of high-paying jobs and securing a better future for themselves. 

With that being said, the sector is changing for the better when it comes to people from different educational pathways. Businesses are moving away from necessitating a computer science degree and a programming background. In fact, the increase in online courses makes upskilling in tech more accessible than ever, with many free to join.

Ultimately, Irish businesses big and small must embrace people with non-traditional technology educations to stem the talent gap and cultivate talent from underrepresented communities.

Ensure work spaces are for everyone 

A conversation I am frequently having with candidates is about making workplaces accessible for everyone, especially those with invisible disabilities. Hidden disabilities can include physical ailments, from hearing loss to chronic pain, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, or fibromyalgia. They can also be neurological – learning disabilities, autism, epilepsy, and others. They can even be mental – depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc. 

A key campaign highlighting the need to make Irish workspaces for everyone came from IrishJobs, a leading job board in Ireland, and AsIAm.ie, an autism awareness charity, issued guidelines to help employers make their workplaces more inclusive for neurodivergent peoples. The ‘Same Chance Commitment’ is designed to create autism friendly workplaces and unlock opportunities within the jobs market for autistic people.

Campaigns like this and the Open Doors Initiative, which provides opportunities to marginalised members of our society through education, training and employment, are essential for creating workplaces which are inclusive of every person, no matter their background.

How Marks Sattin Ireland can help you build a diverse technology team 

Organisations partner with Marks Sattin in Ireland, not only to tap into the expertise we’ve built over the last 30 years, but also because of our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

It’s more difficult than ever to attract the best technology talent, and this challenge is only amplified when trying to recruit diverse talent. This is where we step in. As specialists in technology recruitment, we have grown an extensive network of clients who trust us to help them build a diverse team.

If you’re looking to hire your next Developer, Helpdesk Engineer, Project Manager, Head of Cyber Security, Data Scientist or CTO, then submit a brief and we’ll be in touch for a chat.

Or if it’s time for a career change, find out more about our live opportunities in Ireland at Marks Sattin.

20/09/22
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