The Role of Diversity and Inclusion in Remote Development Teams

Remote Development

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new era of remote work, which is now here to stay. Organizations (especially in the IT sectors) realized that remote work has a myriad of benefits for both their employees and themselves and that it also opened up doors to hire talent from across the globe.  

That said, when hiring remote developers, organizations should prioritize inclusivity and diversity as much as technical expertise. This blog post will help you understand why.

Diversity and Inclusion in a Nutshell

In terms of definitions, diversity refers to people with varying political ideologies, races, cultural origins, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, and socio-economic backgrounds. 

On the other hand, inclusivity refers to recognizing these differences, valuing and respecting them, and making everyone feel welcome regardless of their beliefs or background. 

Both these tenets of philosophy go hand in and must be given equal amounts of importance. In terms of a workforce, diversity without inclusivity can be toxic.

How Does Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion Benefit an Organization When Hiring Remote Developers?

Today, most organizations adopt robust D&I policing when hiring remote developers. The benefits of doing so are as follows:

A Large Talent Pool to Choose From

You reap the following benefits when diversity and inclusion become a priority rather than a psychological hindrance. 

First, you get to hire remote developers from across the globe purely because of their technical abilities. Second, you mitigate your chances of losing out on the best hires for your organization. 

Robust D&I policies will also play a major role in the decision-making process of potential hires wanting to work for your organization. A survey by Glass Door revealed that about 76% of job seekers consider diversity and inclusion a major factor when evaluating job offers. 

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Highly Efficient and Innovative Teams

Diversifying your workforce brings together people from different parts of the globe, each with unique perspectives, experiences, and potential for greater innovation. 

In fact, a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and BCG that covered over 1700 companies found that companies with an above-average percentage of diversity generated a greater proportion of revenue than those that didn’t. 

Hiring folks from various backgrounds also improved the efficiency of development teams as diverse teams are more inclined to explore a range of solutions, enabling them to arrive at resolutions quicker.

Higher Profits

Access to a broader talent pool and the benefits that come along with them can only lead to one possible solution for organizations – higher profits. In terms of numbers, research shows that organizations with diverse management teams generate 19% higher revenues than their less diverse counterparts. 

Another interesting aspect of being diverse and inclusive as a business is the outlook of end customers. A McKinsey report showed that about 75% of Gen Z customers would rather spend their money on organizations prioritising diversity and inclusiveness. 

In layman’s terms, diversity and inclusivity can widen your customer base, equating to higher profits. 

How Can Prioritize Remote Work Help Drive Your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives?

Image Source Freepik.com

Hiring remote workers will automatically help you with your diversity and inclusivity initiatives. Here is how:

You Can Achieve Gender Equality

A recent study found that 80% of women considered the ability to work remotely as one of the top job benefits. In fact, additional research predicts that an equally gender-diverse workforce could increase the annual GDP by roughly 26% by 2025. 

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You Open the Door of Opportunities for the Disabled

Remote work opens up possibilities to hire from this talent pool that was otherwise untapped due to travelling being a hindrance. 

Research undertaken by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) found that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch to remote work that followed, individuals with disabilities aged 25-54 were 3.5% more likely to be hired when compared to the pre-pandemic era. 

You Automatically Foster an Inclusive Culture

With remote work, you can end up with a diverse workforce, each from different cultures and backgrounds. Working together, even remotely, can broaden individual perspectives while giving each person the legroom and discretion they need to be themselves. 

How Can You Enhance Inclusion and Diversity in Your Development Team? 

Evaluating your hiring practices is the first step toward forming a diverse development team. Here are a few tips to help you do so. 

  • Formalize your Diversion and Inclusion Policy: Once you make it official, your recruitment efforts must automatically comply. Simultaneously, set up an individual committee to address concerns and raise awareness.
  • Tweak your job descriptions: Create job listings that emphasize diversity and welcome people from all backgrounds. Avoid using gendered language or any other terminology that may discourage people from applying.
  • Raise awareness and promote open dialogue on the subject: Conduct regular awareness training on issues such as bias and cultural sensitivity and encourage open communication to improve understanding among colleagues.
  • Pay heed to your employees’ needs: Talk to them, understand them, and tweak your policies to include whatever is feasible. Make them feel heard and represented. 
  • Train the leadership: Fostering a sense of inclusivity should come from the top. Ensure that the leadership of diverse remote development is trained, sensitized, and emphatic to the needs of a diverse workforce. 
  • Keep track of your progress: Change doesn’t happen overnight; take cognizance of your efforts. Analyze, strategize, and rework your policies or approaches to ensure that you are on the right track toward your goal of a diverse yet truly inclusive workplace. 
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Summing up

Diversity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords; they are potent drivers of innovation and efficiency for remote development teams, especially when hiring remote developers

By prioritizing them in your remote development teams, you can attract and retain the best talent from around the world and create a more collaborative, productive, and innovative work environment. Factors that put you ahead of your competition. 

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