For tech firms, it's 'yes' to hiring diversity, 'no' to affirmative action
- When software engineer Tracy Chou called out tech companies for not hiring enough women, their response was to publish their diversity hiring results, writes Bloomberg. Tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter were among those who responded.
- Pinterest, Chou’s former employer, and Twitter published their hiring goals to show their commitment to hiring more women, African Americans and Hispanics, says Bloomberg. Facebook gives recruiters extra rewards for diversity hires, while Microsoft now ties managers’ pay to hiring achievements. Despite these efforts, diversity hiring at tech companies remains low.
- While tech firms remain committed to diversity hiring, many don’t want to call their recruitment strategies “affirmative action” and fear blowback from such language, Bloomberg reports.
Y-Vonne Hutchinson, founder of Project Include, a group that helps companies with diversity hiring, told Bloomberg that her clients want to do more to diversify their workplaces than removing names and genders from resumes, lowering goals so they’re more achievable and/or publicly posting hiring results.
The tech industry, and employers in general, can benefit from the help of organizations specializing in diversity hiring; the members of these groups know firsthand the challenges women and people of color face in employment.
As Bloomberg points out, employers want to avoid the term “affirmative action” because of backlash from aggrieved reverse-discrimination claimants and others who think the term means less qualified workers have an edge in hiring.
However, the high unemployment rate among African Americans and many Hispanics does not support that viewpoint. Employers can defuse race- and gender-based animosity with fair, inclusive and anti-discriminatory hiring practices.