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TEKsystems Survey Shows Diversity Programs Underused in Struggle to Fill Open Positions 

TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released research highlighting that IT departments are lagging in the adoption of formal diversity programs. More than 250 IT leaders (i.e., chief information officers, IT vice presidents, IT directors, IT hiring managers) and 500 IT professionals were polled. See the full results here.

Findings also indicate that while IT leaders are expressing dissatisfaction in their ability to fill open IT positions with qualified candidates, they do not perceive diversity initiatives as a potential solution to address talent needs. Finally, the research shows that IT leaders express greater optimism regarding the diversity initiatives and programs in place at their organizations as compared to IT professionals.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Less than Half of IT Leaders Indicate Diversity is a Business Initiative; Formal Diversity Programs Most Often Found at Companies of $1B in Revenue or More

IT leader responses

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Diversity is a business initiative at my company

48%

26%

26%

IT leader responses

Yes

No

Don't know

There is a formal diversity program in place at my company

39%

48%

13%

Distribution of those which indicated a formal diversity program is in place (39%) by revenue

$0M to $249M

5%

$250M to $499M

8%

$500M to $999M

12%

$1B to $10B

37%

Greater than $10B

38%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: Less than half of IT leaders identify diversity as a business initiative at their company (48 percent) or have a formal diversity program in place (39 percent). Of IT leaders indicating a formal policy are in place at their organizations, three-quarters (75 percent) are from companies with revenues greater than $1 billion. Additional results from the survey reveal that 70 percent of IT leaders are not concerned with being audited for diversity compliance. TEKsystems believes this indicates many IT departments view diversity initiatives mainly as a non-enforced workforce compliance requirement.
IT Leaders Experience Difficulty in Filling IT Positions and Dissatisfaction with Quality of Candidates—Yet Diversity Rarely Leveraged to Address Pain Points

IT leader responses

Very difficult

Difficult

Somewhat difficult

Not very difficult

Not at all difficult

Don't know

How difficult is it for you to find IT talent for your open positions?

5%

43%

22%

13%

13%

4%

IT leader responses

Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

Dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

How satisfied are you with the quality of the candidates you receive for your open IT positions?

17%

52%

16%

13%

2%

IT leader responses

Never/Rarely

Sometimes

Always to Often

Level to which diversity goals are ACTIVELY discussed as part of the fulfillment process

47%

35%

18%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: Less than one-fifth (18 percent) of IT leaders indicate they actively reinforce the need to address diversity as part of the ongoing fulfillment process. Almost three-quarters (70 percent) of IT leaders find it difficult to fill open roles in their department and only 17 percent indicate they are highly satisfied with the candidates they receive for those roles. This, coupled with the low adoption of diversity programs within IT, indicates that IT departments are struggling to staff their teams with qualified IT professionals and don’t use diversity programs to address the issue.
IT Leaders Express Greater Optimism in Status of Diversity Programs than IT Professionals

The IT department has been successful integrating diversity efforts into regular operations (e.g., support of employee resource groups, recognition of diverse holidays/events, etc.)

IT leaders

IT professionals

Gap

Agree

45%

38%

7%

Neutral

23%

32%

9%

Disagree

32%

30%

2%

The working environment is a highly inclusive workplace

IT leaders

IT professionals

Gap

Agree

65%

53%

12%

Neutral

9%

28%

19%

Disagree

26%

19%

7%

More needs to be done from a diversity and inclusion perspective

IT leaders

IT professionals

Gap

Agree

35%

39%

4%

Neutral

30%

30%

0%

Disagree

35%

31%

4%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: In comparing IT leader and IT professional opinions, a pattern emerges whereby leaders consistently rate the effectiveness of diversity programs higher than professionals. While 45 percent of IT leaders think their departments have integrated diversity efforts into normal operations effectively, only 38 percent of professionals share that opinion. The delta regarding their workplaces being inclusive is even larger—while approximately two-thirds (65 percent) of leaders believe it is inclusive, only 53 percent of IT professionals agree. Additionally, more professionals (39 percent) think diversity efforts need to be improved than leaders (35 percent). These deltas are likely driven by diversity and inclusion initiatives being a fairly recent development for many IT organizations. Given that larger organizations tend to be the ones with formal programs—and that organizational size can impact the length of time until programs become truly effective across the entire organization—it’s logical that leaders, who are closer to strategy, rate their effectiveness higher than IT professionals, who may not be seeing the impact in their working groups to date.

“While IT departments struggle to find qualified IT workers for their teams, our data indicates that most have yet to leverage diversity programs to help solve that challenge,” says TEKsystems Director of Diversity and Inclusion Michelle Webb. “In our conversations with clients regarding diversity initiatives, we’ve found that IT departments are less aware of the value that diversity programs can play in their skills sourcing efforts when compared to human resources or business leadership. With the shortage of qualified IT workers likely to increase, organizations need to add diversity programs to their arsenal to address their hiring needs.”

TEKsystems’ Michelle Webb is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at nabowen@teksystems.com.

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.