We Surveyed The State of DEI in Tech. Here's How to Interpret the Results.

We asked six leading entrepreneurs, consultants and investors to help interpret the results of our State of DEI in Tech report.

Built In | March 25, 2021

The Built In article, "We Surveyed The State of DEI in Tech. Here's How to Interpret the Results.," quoted Tina Shah Paikeday as she reacts to and shares her perspective on the survey results. The article is excerpted below.

“Organizations used to pride themselves on being a meritocracy, and I think we’ve all now acknowledged that there is no such thing,” Tina Shah Paikeday, a Silicon Valley DEI consultant, recently told Built In. “Now that everyone’s recognized the existence of inequity, equity has become the focus.”

Late last year, Built In conducted a user survey, the results of which were compiled in our 2021 State of DEI in Tech report. As we expected, the results — though promising — aren’t great. However, that report represents a single snapshot of our user base and doesn’t show how the figures have evolved over time. So we tapped several DEI experts and consultants from across the country to help us put our results in context and offer some insight into how these figures fit into the trends they’re witnessing first-hand. 

Below, we’ve highlighted data points we found particularly interesting or revealing and asked our respondents for their take. 

​"60 percent of employees say they actively seek out information about the diversity of an organization when looking for a job."

Paikeday: A tech-savvy workforce population has all kinds of sources of information, and millennials are expecting organizations to value diversity, equity and inclusion. And so all of a sudden we’ve moved to this world that’s completely transparent because of social media and rating scales. So I’m not 100 percent surprised, even though the number range may seem high.

"73 percent of all tech employees surveyed said they've experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly in the workplace because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or some other aspect of their identity. And it's even more pervasive among marginalized groups; 80 percent of individuals who don't identify as male experienced discrimination, as have 87 percent of Black tech employees, 82 percent of Black women and 78 percent of BIPOC tech employees on the whole."

Paikeday: You should see the number of tissues that I have to pull out because of the stories I hear directly from individuals about their unfair experiences. There’s a shift, however, in that people used to feel helpless, right? And it's been that way for so long. Now, all of a sudden, I see people feeling a little bit bolder. They’re more inclined to speak up and say something, whereas they otherwise would have just gone back and said, “Okay, well, I’ll just wait until next year for the bonus,” or whatever it was. I think that people are starting to ask questions about fairness more openly. I do think that people are speaking up more because of what recently happened in the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements.

When we run an inclusion index survey, the scores lean entirely in one direction. If I just draw personal experience as a minority female, I’ve experienced so much discrimination that I don’t necessarily openly talk about it. So I’m not entirely surprised by the numbers, though they seem alarming. I think that there’s just a heightened focus on this topic right, but those numbers have always been that high.

To read the full article, click here.

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We Surveyed The State of DEI in Tech. Here's How to Interpret the Results.