BLACK PROFESSIONALS working in the tech industry are less satisfied than their colleagues and often face different barriers, according to recent research from Info-Tech Research Group, which surveyed over 600 professionals from the U.S., U.K, Canada, India, and Nigeria, 25% of whom identify as Black.
The survey finds that only 23% of Black respondents feel very satisfied in their current role, compared to 34% of all other professionals. What respondents value that promotes satisfaction differs between Black and non-Black professionals too. For instance, non-Black professionals rate autonomy and their manager working relationships as most important, while Black professionals cite promotion and growth.
Black respondents were 55% more likely than all other professionals to report that they had no career advancement or promotion opportunities. The top three barriers to career advancement, according to Black respondents, are microaggressions (54%), racism (50%), and gender-based bias (39%), while all other respondents cite the top barriers as gender-based bias (45%), microaggressions (34%), and racism (23%).
It also takes Black professionals longer to find technology jobs, with 29% reporting that it took seven months or more, compared to 19% of all other respondents who selected the same response.
Belief in their organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts isn’t consistent across groups either, with 41% of non-Black professionals saying their organization is very committed to DEI, versus 30% of Black professionals. And while 86% of all other professionals feel they are able to be their authentic selves at work, that percentage drops to 75% for Black professionals.
In terms of solutions to boost satisfaction, there is near commonality between the groups (see chart), who all point to the same five steps in almost the same order: mentorship/sponsorship, training, employee resource groups, Internal discussions around diversity, and external acknowledgment.
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