Research continually shows that company diversity is positively correlated with increased profit—even for small and medium-sized companies. But smaller tech businesses don’t often think much about diversity. After all, if you only have a few employees, how diverse can you be?
If you turn that around, you get a different perspective: One person in your company represents a significant change. In large enterprises, one person may not move the needle at all.
Two big questions spring to mind for most businesses. First, why does diversity matter, especially in small business? And, second, where do I start?
Diversity matters, especially in small business, for a variety of reasons. Workplace diversity increases creativity, problem-solving, decision making, profitability, productivity, employee engagement, and employee retention. Plus, it can help your company’s overall reputation in the broader community.
Outside of your specific company, diversity matters to our industry as a whole. As you’ve read many times (and probably seen yourself), people change jobs much more frequently now than at any point in history. And while some of these people decide to change careers, most move to a related job in another company. Climbing the corporate ladder in the modern world often means moving from one company to another.
Because companies spend most of their time hiring from one another’s job pools, all IT-related companies contribute to overall diversity of the industry. An employee’s first job out of school may determine whether they are inside or outside the technology field for life. Diversity—or lack thereof—is heavily impacted by companies that hire people into their first tech-related job.
Take the Diversity Pledge
I am honored to sit on the executive council for the Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community at CompTIA. Most of the companies represented on that council are small businesses. I encourage you to learn more about the Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community. It’s free to join and open to anyone.
We recently created a Diversity Pledge to help small businesses begin planning for a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
From the pledge page:
We’ve put together a great collection of tools to help you advance commitment to diversity. These include a customizable diversity statement, a step-by-step Diversity Action Plan Workbook built with SMB consultants in mind, A Guide to Hiring Without Unconscious Bias, and the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Plan for Technology SMBs.
The pledge is very simple: “I’m committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, and would like access to tools and resources to help me with my commitment.”
Please check out these resources. And, if you’re motivated, we would love to have you jump into the community and add your voice to the cause.
Take the First Step
The most important action that each of us can have today is to simply engage in the conversation. All action starts with conversation. And, as you can imagine, the more opinions and viewpoints, the better.
One of my mottos is: “Nothing happens by itself.” That’s certainly true when it comes to diversity. In the last 50 years there have been dramatic changes in the diversity of the average workplace. Those changes came because people took action. And those actions started with people discussing the issue and deciding that changes were needed.Small Business Thoughts.