DATA: Black Tech Workers Outline What’s Contributing To The Leaky Pipeline For Diverse Talent

Key Insights:

  • The majority of Black engineers feel appreciated at work, according to a new dev/color survey.
  • Inauthenticity and failing to strategize a plan to honor DEI commitments contribute to a leaky Black talent pipeline.
  • Companies that fail to factor in Black worker satisfaction risk losing them to companies shown to execute successfully on DEI.

Results of a new /dev/color survey are in, finding the tech industry needs to do more to recruit Black workers. The career resource organization conducted a survey among 260 of its members, who work as engineers across tech, and found that 90 percent of respondents indicated that their employers need to do more to invest in its Black talent pipeline. 

/Dev/color has asked fundamental questions that glean what it is like to work in tech as a Black professional. Through the data that’s been gathered, tech companies may be able to find solutions to longstanding problems in retention, representation and creating more equity among employees. 

While respondents almost unanimously agree increased investment is needed there were more qualitative lesson workers identified beyond financial commitments. 

The majority of survey participants (52 percent) trust their employers when they say they value diversity, inclusion, and belonging, while 60 percent said their company is ”walking the talk of their commitment.” 

It’s heartening that so many Black engineers felt this way as the trust gap and execution on DEI values are key components of heightened performance. 

“It’s hard to do your best work when you can’t trust the company or the leadership to provide a safe space for you,” the report read. “If I don’t feel comfortable bringing up issues, those are gonna fester. If I’m constantly having to make sure I’m compensated fairly, that’s gonna fester.”

There were also high marks for how appreciated Black engineers felt at work, 62 percent felt appreciated as Black engineers and Black leaders at work. 

But it is clear that most Black engineers would like their companies to focus on having a plan for creating the best work environment for Black tech workers after the work of recruiting is done. 

“Ensure you have a healthy work environment for people of color before you go out and recruit a ton of minorities so you can maintain and cultivate the staff you already have,” the survey said. 

Consequences for laying out a strategic plan to make good on increased representation and fulfilments of DEI commitments has become a factor in where Black tech talent will choose to work. Eighty-five percent of Black engineers surveyed said they would switch employers on the basis of how authentically valued they were as a Black employee. 

“Companies have focused on the optics of diversity recruitment without investing in continued development of inclusion and equity in their culture to retain their current staff,” the report said. “Companies risk losing Black talent at every stage of the pipeline.” 

Increasingly, Black employee satisfaction will be a key metric in tracking toward an actionable DEI strategy among Black engineers and tech workers.

Monica Melton

Monica Melton is the managing editor of The Plug Insights. She previously covered innovation, technology, and venture capital at Forbes. She has also covered politics at POLITICO, entertainment for Time Out New York, but her most fascinating beat has been covering the intersection of technology, finance, and entrepreneurship. She is an alumna of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Washington.