The IT channel needs to do more to attract women and ethnic minorities.
Industry group CompTIA has been a strong advocate of increasing diversity in the IT industry, having identified a ‘confidence gap’ that has prevented some people from entering the industry and is determined to overcome those problems.
CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux said: “There are lots of people who don’t realise they can work in the industry because they think they need to have a college degree or be maths and science whizzes but it is a different job to the one they think it is. We have to get them over this confidence gap.”
People need to realise that anybody can be trained and acquire the skills to work in the industry but they need to believe they can do it.
He said everyone wanted to speed up the movement towards greater diversity but it was “not something that can be fixed overnight”.
“It will be interesting to see every year from now because that is when we are supposed to see the mass retirement of the early baby boomers that are going to come out of the industry. That is where there will be lots of opportunity”, he said.
Research showed that more diverse companies developed better products faster, service customers better and had happier employees, Thibodeaux said.
As well as getting a more diverse workforce the other lesson that the industry can learn is around being open minded about what fresh talent can bring to the business.
“We are making people conform to the norms in a company when they come in and not allow them to be comfortable and be themselves and bring what they bring to the culture. We are forcing people to come and are forcing them to assimilate to the existing culture, rather than making them feel they can add to the culture.” He added that the drop-out rate can be high.