Strategic Vendor Selection: The Importance of Diversity in The Tech Industry
Authors: Arezou Taeed & Remi Bullard
Diversity is a word that is used a lot in the tech industry when referring to corporate citizenship, but what does it really mean and why is it so important? Based on Webster’s Online Dictionary, diversity is “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, especially: the inclusion of people of different races (see race entry 1 sense 1a), cultures, etc. in a group or organization”.
According to Lewis Stone of Devskiller, “The tech industry diversity statistics show the industry is overwhelmingly white and male.” However, when Atlassian performed a State of Diversity and Inclusion in U.S. Tech survey in 2018, 80% of respondents thought that “diversity and inclusion are important to the tech industry”. So, what are the potential benefits of having a diverse workplace in the tech industry?
The benefits of diversity are simple – increased DE&I (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion) means a wider array of viewpoints, which leads to innovation, better problem solving, and better products. Subsequently, diverse teams are more likely to focus on facts rather than opinions. When teams are heterogeneous, members are more likely to stay curious and ask questions, resulting in a superior final product. When leaders are intentional about creating diverse teams, employees’ work satisfaction increases, and in turn, companies can become more profitable. In a study done by Cloverpop, a San Francisco-based technology company, “researchers found that when diverse teams (of three or more people) made a business decision, they outperformed individual decision-makers up to 87 percent of the time”.
Conversely, a lack of diversity in teams can produce enmity, misunderstanding, and lack of comfortability in the workplace. This can ultimately lead to higher turnover and loss of talent. In addition, a lack of diversity limits others in the team from new experiences and cultural learnings. Homogeneous work environments can create stereotypes in the workplace that can become unsettling and result in underperformance, which may result in a loss of potential profit. Building or staffing diverse teams should not be seen as a chore or organizational initiative, but an opportunity to introduce new perspectives and insights, creating an exciting and dynamic culture of inclusion and diversity.
At Collective Insights (CI) we know that diversity matters. We evaluate vendors on a few important factors:
- Is the vendor a minority-owned business?
- Is the vendor a woman-owned business?
- Does the organization have an LGBT designation (at least 51% owned by LGBT individuals)?
- Is the vendor a veteran or disabled veteran-owned business?
There are several diversity groups that CI monitors. Here are a few examples:
- National Minority Supplier Development Council: organization of 12,000 minority-owned businesses
- Woman Business Enterprise National Council: organization of 13 million women-owned businesses
- National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce: certifying body of LBGT businesses
- National Veteran Business Development Council: the largest certifying body of veteran-owned businesses
- United States Business Leadership Network: certification body of disability-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses
- United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: organization providing a national forum for Hispanic owned businesses
Diversity is important to CI and our strategic vendor selection process crosses all of our offerings including Business Transformation services, and Strategic Planning and Business Architecture, which are supported through our Technology, Information and Security services. Let us help your organization become more diverse, increase your corporate citizenship image, and increase your profits.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. We look forward to partnering with you.
 Merriam Webster Dictionary. From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversity
 Forbes Technology Council (2018, July 12). 12 Ways Diversity Makes A Difference In Tech. From https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/07/12/12-ways-diversity-makes-a-difference-in-tech/?sh=6e53cd052bc6
 Newlands, Murray (2016, August 29). Why Diversity Matters In Tech. From https://www.forbes.com/sites/mnewlands/2016/08/29/why-diversity-matters-in-tech/?sh=3a2e1b7d8614
 People Management Editorial (2017, October 23). https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/experts/research/diversity-drives-better-decisions
 Western Governors University (2019, June 4). Barriers and benefits of diversity in the workplace. https://www.wgu.edu/blog/barriers-benefits-diversity-workplace1906.html#:~:text=A%20lack%20of%20diversity%20in,not%20likely%20to%20stick%20around.&text=Companies%20that%20have%20successful%20workplace,and%20groups%20for%20supporting%20diversity
 Suarez, John (2018, July 9). 10 Invaluable Supplier Diversity Certifications. From https://blog.cvmsolutions.com/10-invaluable-supplier-diversity-certifications