How to Create More Inclusive Data Teams

June is Pride month, a reminder of how far the LGBTQ community has come, and that there is still room to grow when it comes to creating an inclusive culture. 

As many businesses focus on making sure their DEI strategies are more in practice than on paper, tech is no exception. One of the most surprising benefits of the shift to remote working in the last couple of years is doors have opened to those previously excluded by identity, gender, race, or color. The ability to source talent globally has made teams more diverse in their thinking and cultural backgrounds leaving room for increased innovation and productivity.

How Can You Make More Inclusive Data Teams?

There are several ways to make your tech or data team more inclusive, but the most elusive step is the one that may ensure everyone is on the same page – invite everyone to the table.  How can you develop a strategy to be inclusive if you don’t include those who will most benefit from it? Below are four of the ways to build inclusivity in your team.

1. Give everyone a seat at the table

This bears repeating as it’s important to include everyone when it comes to discussions about inclusivity strategies for your team. What is the point of discussing diversity and inclusion strategies if you don’t include LGBTQ, BIPOC, and POC in the discussion?

2. Link inclusion to your company values

Mention it in all your content from brochures to website content to direct mail and videos. Offer networking opportunities either through mentorship programs offered virtually or online networking events. We travel in like circles, and we network in like circles, so it can be difficult for some of your employees to have access to events and opportunities you may take for granted.

3. Offer mentoring opportunities

Everyone needs someone to listen to their concerns, fears, frustrations, and triumphs, and mentors are empathetic listeners who can help guide employees to gain self-confidence and pursue leadership. But there is a flip side when thinking about mentoring as part of your inclusivity strategy, and that is that mentoring can go both ways. Senior employees are matched with younger LGBTQ employees in which the younger employees mentor the senior employees to increase their understanding of the issues LGBTQ, BIPOC, and POC employees face.

4. Be open and vulnerable

IT leaders must educate themselves on the bias and systemic racism their team may face or have faced in the past to affect change. There are quick fixes, but to make lasting change, you need to understand what your team faces daily, and from there step outside your comfort zone to ask them what can be done. Use this opportunity to foster discussion and debunk stereotypes.

Inclusive Data Teams Boost Performance

How does the saying go? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. And while you won’t get insane solutions to business problems, it does prove the idea that when you bring in diverse backgrounds, age, gender, race, ethnicity, and geographic components business performance can increase up to 12 percent between diverse versus nondiverse organizations.

In addition, when you mix people with different ways of thinking and perspectives, you add an element of creative innovation that might not exist if everyone thought the same way.

Using Data-driven HR to Build More Inclusive Data Teams

Human resources professionals are no longer relegated to a single location to source talent. The ability to recruit from anywhere in the world offers businesses and opportunity to have truly diverse teams. Some are turning to data science to help business leaders avoid bias creep, support decision-making, and help businesses adapt to their DEI strategies.

If you’re interested in big data & analytics, business intelligence (BI), or data science just to name a few, Harnham may have a role for you.

Check out our latest jobs or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more.

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