Diversity in Data & Analytics

Harnham | 2019

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Harnham Review

More than ever, diversity is a key talking point for both our clients and candidates.Having moved to the forefront of conversation over the past few years, topics like equal opportunities and the gender pay gap are now being discussed openly across industries.

At Harnham, we have been compiling research to better understand the state of diversity in the Data & Analytics industry.Before we take a look at the current state of diversity in Data & Analytics, we should examine why we're reviewing this subject. It's important to not view diversity as a box ticking exercise, or a current trend to get on board with. Diversity is about drawing knowledge from as many different sources as possible to ensure that we can develop the latest technologies quickly and intelligently.

 LinkedIn’s report found that 78% of Hiring Managers believe a diverse workforce improves culture, whilst 62% believe it boosts company performance. Furthermore, a Randstad study showed that 86% of workers from Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, preferred working in a multi-generational team, with 85% believing that the age difference helps them come up with more innovative ideas and solutions. This highlights a key reason as to why diversity is important; it’s what the Data & Analytics community wants, as do we all. This is clear, not only from the above, but with the frequency with which we’re being asked by our clients to provide a diverse list of candidates. But, above and beyond the benefits of a happier workforce, are there financial and technological benefits?

In a nutshell; yes. Research has continuously proven that more diverse teams yield better results. A study from the University of Michigan found that a team of randomly selected, yet diverse, problem solvers consistently outperformed a homogeneous team comprised of their current top-performers.

A key indicator of the state of diversity in Data & Analytics is to look at the current gender split. Whilst women make up 47% of the global workforce, they currently only comprise 26% of Data & Analytics roles. Unfortunately, 15% of Data teams have no women at all.The split only gets worse for more senior positions. A report from Inclusive Boards found that nearly two thirds of Boards, and over 40% of Senior Leadership Teams in Britain’s 500 largest tech firms did not have a single female amongst them. In the FTSE Top 100, 30% of Board Members are now women, but in the tech sector, it’s an average of just 12.6% and 16.6% of Senior Executives. So, whilst a quarter of Data & Analytics professionals are women, they make up only an eighth of leadership roles.

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