Earlier this year, McKinsey published a report “Empowering Black, Latina, and Native American women in tech”. The report found that, despite an increasing percentage of tech degrees earned by Black, Latina, and Native American women, their presence in tech roles is dwindling. Implementing inclusive policies and practices could aid companies in retaining these individuals.
The report highlights the challenges faced by Black, Latina, and Native American (BLNA) women in securing and advancing in technical roles despite efforts to enhance workplace diversity and inclusion. While initiatives such as the Reboot Representation Tech Coalition have made significant strides in increasing computing degrees for BLNA women, their representation in the technical workforce has actually declined.
Research indicates that existing workplace policies aren’t effectively supporting BLNA women, leading to biases and a lack of belonging, prompting many to leave the industry. To reverse this trend, the report outlines strategies for employers to attract, retain, and advance BLNA women in technical roles. These strategies revolve around democratizing access to information, increasing flexibility in work arrangements, and demystifying career development pathways.
Furthermore, the report identifies nine key practices and policies that significantly impact BLNA women’s experiences in the workplace, such as sharing salary ranges, providing flexible work options, and offering clear career development pathways. Companies implementing all nine practices have seen increased retention rates among BLNA women and improved satisfaction among employees across all demographic groups.
To bridge the gap and foster a more inclusive environment, the report provides a roadmap for companies, emphasizing the importance of data collection, focusing on high-impact practices, and continuous improvement centred around the needs of BLNA women. Ultimately, intentional actions and inclusive cultures can unlock the full potential of BLNA women in the technical workforce.