British Columbia’s tech sector has expressed a strong willingness to do more when it comes to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) practices but is struggling with how to implement these practices, according to a new report from HR Tech Group. The report, Diversity & Inclusion in the BC Tech Sector, highlights a desire for collaboration and implementation of impactful D&I strategies. Findings from the report noted that 96% of organizations surveyed believe D&I is important to the success and competitiveness of their organization.
Based on interviews and recent data, the BC tech sector is motivated to employ underrepresented groups. Currently, less than 1% of BC tech jobs are held by First Nations and Indigenous Peoples or people with disabilities. According to the 2017 HR Tech Group Salary Survey, pay equity is another continued concern, as women in BC tech earn 5-6% less than their male counterparts.
Recommendations from the report considered the resource constraints many BC tech companies face, examining the need for a collective effort and investment in a comprehensive multi-year plan. Recommendations include:
- Increase industry’s D&I awareness and understanding of benefits
- Increase company’s D&I capability by engaging & educating CEOs/Senior Leaders and HR
- Drive D&I progress through reinforcement and measurement
- Increase the talent pool and its diversity
- Increase Reconciliation commitments and opportunities with First Nations and Indigenous Peoples
Overall the report found the majority of BC tech companies are interested in working together and with government on recommendations that allow access to a diverse and inclusive pool of talent that can positively impact innovation.
“This report is a first for our sector. It represents a deep interest and collaboration to not only identify gaps in underrepresented groups, but also to recognize the business case for increased diversity and inclusion in our tech companies. Diverse and inclusive teams are more innovative, and contribute positively to the financial performance and success of organizations. Our hope is that this project will inspire the community to take action to close the gaps as the sector continues to grow.” Allison Rutherford, Executive Director, HR Tech Group.
“A thriving tech sector means good jobs that can support families and communities throughout British Columbia,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “To fill the 83,400 tech job openings coming available in the next ten years, we need to ensure the industry is welcoming for our underrepresented groups like Indigenous people, women, and people with disabilities. This report is a good first step in understanding the challenges we need to overcome and it’s a call to action for the sector and our government to ensure these rewarding opportunities are possible for everyone.”
“B.C.’s multiculturalism is a crucial part of what makes the province’s tech sector so successful, the sector is made up of people from around the world with varying experiences, knowledge and skillsets,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Increasing that diversity and supporting the sector’s inclusion efforts throughout the province will introduce new talent with fresh ideas, helping make B.C. tech even stronger.”
Diversity & Inclusion in the BC Tech Sector is a report bringing together the insights of both BC tech companies and partners. Members of the Advisory Committee providing oversight included: the Vancouver Economic Commission, BC Tech, The Minerva Foundation, First Nations Technology Council and the Immigrant Employment Council of B.C. Information was gathered through stakeholder interviews, online surveys and discussions, and environmental scan and literature reviews of leading D&I practices. The report was made possible with the support of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.
To download the full report, Diversity & Inclusion in the BC Tech Sector (released January 2018), please visit: https://www.hrtechgroup.com/cpages/in-the-news
About HR Tech Group
HR Tech Group is an association of human resources professionals employed in BC tech companies. The group produces the leading BC Tech Salary Survey, and provides new and benchmark data that keeps members up to speed on local business practices in tech. HR Tech Group serves over 150 mid to large member companies in all tech sectors including ICT, film/ VFX, digital media, clean tech and life sciences.