Although research shows that women earn the majority of all undergraduate and advanced degrees, they are still significantly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. In fields like engineering and computer science, women accounted for just 14% and 26% of the workforce in 2021, respectively, and Black women only held approximately 2% of STEM jobs in the U.S. in 2019. Additionally, Hispanic and Latino scientists and engineers made up fewer than 8% of the science and engineering workforce in 2019. Incorporating best practices in the talent management lifecycle to include diverse candidate slates, insisting upon inclusion in the selection process, and developing employees from underrepresented groups are areas where white employees, particularly white men, can step up as allies to help marginalized groups in the workplace thrive.
To attract a more diverse talent pool, adjust the language in your job descriptions to remove bias. Phrases and words that signal bias, such as “energetic,” “aggressive,” and gendered pronouns, can deter candidates from underrepresented groups from even applying. You can be more inclusive during the selection process by:
- Including women and people of color on your interview teams.
- Requesting blind resumes.
- Implementing intentional and targeted recruiting of individuals from underrepresented groups.
It’s equally as important to make investments in and develop the diverse talent you already have. You can do this through:
- Assigning stretch projects that provide visibility and responsibility.
- Highlighting the employee’s strengths and achievements.
- Mentoring, encouraging, and supporting the employee.
- Introducing the employee to leaders, decision-makers, and other power players in your company and industry.
- Bringing the employee to industry and networking events.