Updated: Feb 22
Many companies have become notorious for their preferential hiring choices. Will remote work be able to bridge the gap and add more diversity?
Diversity is a sore point for many companies around the globe. Some of the giants of the sector started releasing diversity reports back in 2015, and evaluating them now it's evident that the needed improvements in hiring minorities and previously under-served groups have not taken hold as much as they should.
Nowhere are these hiring gaps more apparent than in highly-technical fields like software engineering and data science. While there has been an incremental increase in the number of women joining these companies, for example, the number of candidates that identify as POC grew by less than a percentage since the last diversity report.
This can be attributed to numerous factors, and even with companies providing more training options to minorities considering tech-based educations, it hasn't been enough.
Will remote work be an advantageous move for hiring diversity? Is it the answer to making the workplace more inclusive? We investigate.
How Does Remote Work Compare
Firstly, it's important to note that remote work does not automatically equal diverse companies. In order for companies to take the big picture approach to inclusive hiring, there has to be a strong combination of intention and strategy from the get-go. This is an attitude that needs to present from the top of the managerial ladder to the lowest rung employees.
A recent report by the digital HR firm Clutch found that with remote work policies in place, nearly 60% of respondents said that their company had become more diverse in the last year, with just under 25% voicing their support for more internal discussions on how to improve employee diversity.
At the same time, experts have voiced their concerns about the accuracy of these numbers. Diversity can be a difficult thing to gauge, spanning many different categories, and it can be easy for companies (and employees) to over or underestimate how diverse their teams really are.
So what makes remote work a strong contender for improving diversity compared to traditional work environments?