Certain sectors of tech companies outside of engineering, such as business development, customer success, communications and marketing, also tend to be more female and historically underrepresented minorities. These types of roles have gained more respect and attention in recent years, Brown said. But Mimi Fox Melton, program director at the nonprofit Code 2040, said individuals in those roles were still more likely to face layoffs because they were seen as less important to the business than those who developed or maintained the product.
“Most of the time, you’ll see BIPOC candidates being hired into HR and recruiting,” Fox Melton said. “But in a hiring freeze, you don’t need as many people to recruit candidates, so those people are going to face layoffs.”
Kaplan also told WIRED that managers often don’t consider how the processes used to identify employees or roles to eliminate may be biased against certain demographics. “Even a system designed to be neutral can ultimately disadvantage women and people of color,” she said. Research shows that women, especially people of color, often score lower than their colleagues in performance reviews for similar performance, making their contributions appear to be lower than they actually are. The choice to fire new hires and protect those who have been at the company for a few years while showing loyalty might sound reasonable in theory, but in practice Kaplan says this approach would make hiring as part of a recent push for diversity. man on cutting board.
“In the early stages of growth, most companies hire through referrals,” says Fox Melton. “We know that 75% of white people have an all-white network, which means companies are more likely to hire more and more white people early on.”
Efforts by tech companies to bring employees back to luxury offices could also end up reducing workforce diversity. The remote work revolution sparked by the pandemic has helped companies seeking to bring in employees from underrepresented backgrounds, said Bhaskar Chakravorti, chair of the global business department at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Meta’s recent diversity report acknowledges that remote work is a key factor in bringing in a more diverse talent pool.
“When companies hire more diverse people from places like Atlanta, Texas or the South, they can keep them because they allow them to work close to their social networks, their homes and their communities,” Chakravorti said. “It’s helpful for employees of color because they feel like they don’t have to move to a city like Boston, which is very alienating for a lot of employees of color because it’s not the friendliest environment.”
With many tech companies, including Google, now pushing employees to return to the office, Chakravorti said some women and BIPOC employees are choosing to leave on their own. Women still do most of the housekeeping and childcare, and while remote work doesn’t guarantee equality, a FlexJobs survey last year found that 68% of women would prefer to continue working remotely, with many citing work-life differences. balance. Being asked to return to the office could upset that balance. “It makes it more difficult for women,” Chakravorti said.