Tech Industry Lagged Behind in Wage Equity and Reduced DEI Teams in 2021

According to a new report by Hired, a recruiting platform, the tech industry has regressed in terms of wage equity while also reducing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) teams last year. The study found that the gender wage gap widened in 2021 for all racial and ethnic groups except white and Asian women, although certain regions saw some improvement. Hired surveyed 229 hiring leaders, and 20% of respondents stated their companies had downsized their DEI teams over the past year.

After George Floyd’s murder in 2020, many companies declared their commitment to workplace diversity and equity programs. However, even though studies show that workplace diversity improves companies’ performance, tech layoffs during the pandemic affected DEI staffing. According to the surveyed managers, 12% said that if the economy tightens, their DEI programs are more likely to be at risk of future cutbacks.

Senior Vice President of Marketing at Hired, Erica Yamamoto, warns of the anti-DEI movement’s effects: “We see what’s going on in the anti-DEI movement. We see it in our survey data”.

The State of DEI Efforts in Companies: Survey Finds Mixed Results

A recent survey conducted by Hired revealed that while 51% of managers believe that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) teams are a “must-have,” 20% believe that their companies’ DEI efforts are just for show. Furthermore, 14% of respondents feel that DEI programs give an unfair advantage to certain groups. The survey even included a comment from an anonymous manager who wished that DEI would disappear altogether.

Erica Yamamoto, senior vice president of marketing at Hired, expressed concerns about the trends emerging from the survey, adding that recent anti-DEI movements have further fueled apprehension surrounding the topic.

Despite the continued push for DEI initiatives globally, pay disparity remains an issue; Black men made 93 cents on the dollar to white men’s earnings in 2022, compared to 95 cents in 2021. For Black women, the figure dropped from 92 cents in 2021 to 90 cents in 2022. Similarly, Hispanic men and women saw a decrease in earnings in 2022 compared to the previous year. However, Asian men’s earnings only decreased by two cents from $1.04 in 2021 to $1.02 in 2022.

These findings reveal a need for further research into what companies are doing to improve DEI initiatives and support marginalized communities. With the next year possibly showing a company’s true intentions regarding allyship, companies must take calculated strides to ensure that they’re fulfilling all their promises for more equitable workspaces and inclusive hiring practices.

Inclusive Workplaces and Equitable Practices: Bridging the Gap towards Progress

Wages of Asian Women Improve Compared to White Men

According to data gathered by Hired, only Asian women’s wages have seen an improvement compared to white men, reaching 99 cents for every dollar earned in 2022 versus 98 cents in 2021. However, the wage gap for white women has remained at 95 cents.

These statistics can be attributed to a lack of knowledge among workers about what they can ask for in terms of compensation. A survey conducted by Hired revealed that only 25% of women and 39% of men felt they had enough knowledge to negotiate salaries aligned with their market value, role, and experience. Additionally, women with more work experience expected a greater wage gap compared to those with less, likely due to lower salaries earlier in their careers.

Despite the widening wage gap trend, there are still positive outcomes related to pay equity. The report mentions that in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, gender wage and expectation gaps narrowed after salary-transparency legislation went into effect. These laws require companies to disclose salary ranges to job applicants.

While it will take both private and public partnerships to bring about systemic change in the workforce, experts remain optimistic about making impactful strides towards equal pay equity.

See: As the Equal Pay Act turns 60, ‘an uneven playing field’ remains. Here’s where pay equity stands.

From the archives (December 2022): It should be much easier to know how much a job pays in 2023

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