Diversity (or lack thereof) in IT has been a hot topic in the news and among our clients in recent months. And it's true, IT departments are notorious for their lack of diversity, and the problem is only getting worse. Over the past few years, the number of women and underrepresented minorities (URMs) in IT has been dropping steadily. In IT Infrastructure and Operations, the picture is even grimmer — data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that IT job titles such as computer hardware engineer and network and computer system administrator have some of the lowest participation rates of women and minorities (see figure). Although some IT careers are more diverse than others — computer operators, for example, show evenly represented women and minorities by participation in the workforce — very few women and minorities can be counted in the ranks of management.
"Why should I care?" many firms ask. Besides issues of equality and social responsibility, there are several major advantages to taking steps to improve diversity in your workplace: