How to Improve Diversity in Your Company with Upskilling

Companies are increasingly recognizing the impact and value of cultivating diversityUpskilling within their workforce. With U.S. companies spending over $8 billion annually in diversity training, and DEI-focused job openings increasing by 123% since 2020, there’s no doubt that efforts are being made to increase awareness and inclusivity. However, the tactical approach to achieving diversity goals among technology teams is an area we often hear organizations struggle with.

Google has invested millions into improving DEI but when you look at the results, there’s room for improvement. Google’s 2020 annual diversity report shows that only 5.5% of employees identify as Black or Black and any other race, and 6.6% identify as Latinx or Latinx and any other race. Only 32.5% of employees identify as women.

Today’s organizations need in-house training initiatives to drive diversity among teams who need them most. So, in an industry built from developing innovative and creative solutions, what is the solution for increasing diversity in the tech industry?

Reskilling and upskilling current employees is an approach to enriching diversity among some of today’s top organizations. Continue reading to explore three invaluable ways reskilling can position your company for the future.

1. Upskilling avoids displacing current employees.

The fourth industrial revolution is transforming how companies conduct business. Characterized by consolidating automated machines with improved technology and intelligent computer systems, it’s easy to see how this revolution can add tremendous efficiency to processes and day-to-day work functions. But there’s a troubling side of the fourth industrial revolution, and that’s the number of jobs displaced by automation. In fact, The World Economic Forum predicts that automation will displace 85 million global jobs by 2025.

Rather than allowing your hard-working employees’ jobs to be displaced, upskilling and reskilling present the opportunity for them to gain new skills and remain competitive and active in your organization.

2. Upskilling makes technology education more accessible.

The digital learning gap is real, and not only does it impact today’s youth, it impacts those who grew up without access to technology education years ago who are now in the modern workforce.

Harvard Political Review explains that, as new technologies have been deployed in modern work environments, high-skilled workers have been able to boost overall workplace productivity by offloading their more manual job duties to machinery. However, lower-skilled workers who once completed these job duties have been replaced by the same technology.

This shift gave higher-skilled workers an opportunity for growth while making it more difficult for lower-skilled workers to move up. As a result, “the income increase that defined high-skilled jobs is hardly present for low-skilled workers, whose incomes have remained stagnant for 50 years.”

At Tech Elevator, we are passionate about making technology education more accessible for individuals who may have not had access to training in the past. By offering reskilling or upskilling to your employees, you present opportunities for those with technology interests the chance to pursue their passions.

3. Upskilling has a proven impact on diversity.

Some of today’s largest organizations have invested heavily in upskilling and reskilling as a DEI driver. Take Xerox for example. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Xerox has been reevaluating their technology capabilities and investing in reskilling to help bridge skills gaps.

“Our own learning and development team has been using different forms of digital technology to train and reskill employees such as salespeople who are no longer able to be out in the field due to COVID-19,” explained Xerox’s CHRO, Suzan Morno-Wade.

At Fortune’s Brainstorm Talent event, Chipotle’s Chief Diversity, Inclusion and People Officer Marissa Andrada discussed how reskilling transforms the lives of the organization’s minimum wage workforce.

“You can be an hourly employee and join at an above-average minimum wage—we just raised our wages to an average of [$15 per hour]—and you can have a direct pathway to getting this middle-class life, a six-figure salary in three years,” said Andrada.

Ultimately, reskilling and upskilling is proving that employees don’t need the traditional, four-year college degrees to achieve upward mobility. Innovative companies like Xerox and Chipotle that recognize and invest in the value of reskilling will not only ensure their employees are set up for success in the future, but also know that their organization is taking the necessary steps to remain competitive.

Take the next step in your organization’s reskilling journey.

The aptitude for technology skills is distributed evenly throughout the population, but accessibility is one of the biggest hurdles for underrepresented groups in tech. With a proper reskilling partner, organizations can meet their diversity goals and further enrich their current workforce by providing career advancement opportunities.

Explore our reskilling solutions and talk with our reskilling team today.

Written by Liz Okesson, Tech Elevator’s Vice President of Enterprise