How Diverse is BC's Tech Sector?

November 23, 2021

TAP Network’s 2021 Diversity in Tech Dashboard reports year-over-year progress on representation of equity-deserving groups in the BC tech sector. The report is part of a larger multi-year project to improve the attraction, retention and advancement of women, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people of colour, newcomers to Canada, and individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA+ in skilled technology occupations throughout the province of British Columbia.

The 2021 numbers are out! Let’s break down what they say.

We’ve made tremendous progress with benchmarking our diversity. 171 employers participated this year, providing industry-wide data on DE&I policies and practices and employee representation. This was a 27% increase in participation from last year. Some categories saw tremendous increases in the amount of data collected and reported:

  • 44% more data for the Indigenous demographic
  • 88% more data for the 2SLGBTQQIA+ demographic

36% of survey respondents told us they are tracking diversity demographics and another 38% are considering it or working on it now. This measurement was basically non-existent two years ago and now 1/3 are doing it and another 38% are considering it or working on it. This is a massive positive shift.

Where we have work to do is on actually increasing the representation of marginalized groups in our sector.

The report highlights two critical areas for improvement:

  1. Our sector has significant overall gaps in representation, in particular with women, Indigenous peoples and people with disabilities.
  • 33.2% of employees surveyed self-identified as women
  • 0.7% self-identified as Indigenous peoples
  • 2.9% self-identified as people with disabilities

  1. It also shows that representation plummets in the more highly paid technical and senior leadership roles.

For example:

  • While 41% of employees reported identifying as visible minorities, this dropped to 19% at the executive level.
  • Only 15.6% of Software Developers identified as women.

Check out all the data in the 2021 Diversity in Tech Dashboard report here.

Moving the needle on future reports will requires many organizations doing the hard work to increase representation within their own organizations. Measuring organizational diversity is step one.

Need some resources to support that?

  1. Use our Benchmarking Toolkit – it includes a sample questionnaire and templates for asking employees to self-report on diversity.
  2. Visit our D&I Resource HUB – this library has over 400 resources to support leaders in building more inclusive, equitable and diverse workplaces

For further discussion on this topic and ideas on how organizations can build more diverse and inclusive workplaces, check out this BIV podcast: HR Tech Group CEO Stephanie Hollingshead joins BIV’s Tyler Orton to discuss diversity in the BC tech sector.