According to a recent study conducted by diversity recruitment platform Jopwell, 36% of surveyed minority engineers in the tech industry say they’ve experienced some form of workplace bias.
Of the 300 black, Latino/Hispanic and Native American engineers polled, 69% indicated they had experienced racial bias, 16% said gender and 11% said sexuality.
“The interesting thing for us is that most of this was confirmation for what we were expecting,” said Ryan Williams, president and co-founder of Jopwell. “We knew about the issues minorities were facing in terms of lacking access and exposure in technology. But turning these anecdotes we had into a study was really eye opening for us and showed us what we knew to be true.”
Jopwell was started in the summer of 2014 by Williams and his colleague Porter Braswell in an effort to help companies hire minority talent. After connecting as employees at Goldman Sachs, Williams and Braswell recognized their unique position on Wall Street and how a majority of other ethnic minorities weren’t afforded the same access and exposure.
“When the conversation occurs throughout the country in terms of lack of diversity it’s hard to pinpoint which aspect is really challenged,” said Braswell regarding diversity’s expansive definition, which includes race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and more. “At Jopwell, we focus on one aspect which is black, Hispanic, and Native Americans. So Jopwell offers solutions specifically for that demographic and part of the success of Jopwell, and the reason for companies like us, is that we are very targeted with the communities we serve.”
In addition to 36% of engineers having experienced workplace bias, 85% agreed that a fair workplace will include people from all races and 70% agreed their company can be doing more to promote multicultural understanding.
“We’ve seen some progress in the workplace in recent years, but there is still unconscious bias that can manifest within organizations,” added Williams. “There are a number of tools that companies can use to counter workplace bias—everything from quantifiable performance standards to bias training to technology-driven platforms.”