market diversity technology inclusion vendors tech priority
D&I; tech market grows as diversity and inclusion become a priorityTech has always been uniquely positioned to address its own lack of diversityand inclusion by using the very same innovative, out-of-the-box thinking,tools and technologies that have transformed so many other industries. Thusfar, though, it hasn’t seemed to make much of a dent in the problem.But a new report from Mercer and RedThread Research offers some hopeful dataabout the rapidly expanding market for D&I technology. Diversity and InclusionTechnology: The Rise of a Transformative Market explores and maps thelandscape of this newly emerging technology category, including top technologyvendors, insights from corporate use cases, areas of focus and growth rates,according to a statement from Mercer and RedThread.“We know that companies are renewing their focus on D&I,” says Stacia Garr,co-founder and principal analyst of RedThread Research, and co-author of thereport. “As a result, we’ve seen a flood of new entrants into this marketsector. There is very little insight, however, into who they are or what theyare offering. We wanted to understand who the players are, exactly whatproblems they are trying to solve, and how successful they have been, bothfinancially and in the eyes of their customers.”Key findings from the report reveal that the D&I technology market is quicklyexpanding, but it is also fragmented. As of 2018, the global market size wasapproximately $100 million and growing. The majority (60 percent) of the 105vendors surveyed are small companies with fewer than 50 employees, are lessthan 4 years old, and serve customers in finance/banking, technology and theprofessional services industries, according to the research. One in four ofthese vendors (approximately 25 percent) are seeing 100 percent or higheryear-over-year growth, the survey reveals.This is pretty good news, not just for the D&I tech vendors themselves, butfor the industry as a whole and for these D&I vendors’ customers outside ofthe tech industry. It means these customers are finally beginning to take D&Iseriously and making actual investments in technology to help them address theissues across industries.“Diversity and inclusion has long been a priority for many of our clients andother organizations,” said Carole Jackson, co-author of the report and seniorprincipal in Mercer’s Diversity & Inclusion consulting practice. “But itwasn’t always a top ‘business priority’ for CEOs. It was often considered ‘theright thing to do’ and with that came nominal budgets and superficial supportfrom leaders. With more and more research demonstrating a direct link betweengreater diversity and improved business results, CEOs are putting real budgetsin place to eliminate bias, ensuring equity in all talent processes, anddemanding inclusive working environments. This is proving to be the fuel forchange and creating space for these technologies to grow.”I’ve always maintained that there shouldn’t have to be a “business case” madefor companies to do the right thing, but if that’s what it takes to finallypersuade the “old boys club” to sit up and take notice and put real moneybehind these initiatives, then I guess it’s better than nothing.