Monster.com® asked Harris Interactive® to conduct research that examines the importance of diversity recruiting in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematical (STEM) professions.
“STEM positions are among the fastest growing occupations. Unfortunately, current skills gaps prevent organizations filling STEM positions with diverse candidates”
It is widely acknowledged that STEM professions pose a recruiting challenge for many employers. When recruiting diverse candidates for STEM professions, an even greater challenge emerges. Although well along the way to realizing and embracing the benefits of diversity and inclusion, Monster survey participants indicated that they are not fully at their goal of STEM diversity. These responses align with current figures in diversity representation in STEM professions. Today, non-Hispanic Whites constitute approximately 73% of the STEM workforce of which 27% are women; collectively, African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos constitute about 7% of the STEM workforce, despite making up more than 27.9% of the population. These structural shortages, uncovered in our qualitative research, are derived from a variety of factors including candidate location, cultural barriers within diverse communities that include a paucity of role models in STEM occupations, as well as a lack of discussion of these professions in the communities’ educational environments.
“STEM positions are among the fastest growing occupations. Unfortunately, current skills gaps prevent organizations filling STEM positions with diverse candidates,” said Jeffrey Quinn, Vice President, Global Monster Insights. “The limited supply of qualified candidates is a fundamental issue organizations face in diverse STEM recruitment. If this gap continues to widen, the low number of diverse professionals in STEM occupations will create a challenge in the demand for global STEM education, employment and funding.”
Diversity recruiting began decades ago as an initiative primarily to remediate discriminatory practices.Today, the definition of a diverse workforce has expanded beyond ethnic, racial and gender inclusion to include such factors as age, disability status, sexual orientation/identity, religion, military background and national culture. Even more significant: leading companies have concluded that cultural and other differences among employees can create competitive advantages in many links along the value chain. The result has unified diversity recruiting, inclusive management and cultural diversity into a single practice.
The Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion
Companies in the Monster survey measure the benefits of diversity in a variety of ways, including:
• The strength of their recruitment in under-represented sectors of the workforce
• The reach of their sales and service in emerging customer segments
• Through innovation in product development and delivery based on new perspectives
Nearly a third of those surveyed were unsure how these benefits were being quantified.
Quantitative results from Monster’s research show that diversity and inclusion in the workforce is viewed as beneficial in many ways, with top benefits cited as:
• New attitudes/ideas (84%)
• Learning opportunities (76%)
• Increased creativity (69%)
Innovation and creativity are uniquely dependent on a rich mix of information, attitudes, talents, skills, culture and knowledge. This reality has solidified the need to acquire an ever more diverse workforce.
For larger organizations in the survey, the quest for STEM talent goes beyond America’s borders; their definition of diversity recruiting encompasses other cultures as a matter of strategic direction.
Companies not fully at their goal
Although well along the way to realizing and embracing the benefits of diversity and
inclusion, Monster survey participants indicated that they are not fully at their goal
of STEM diversity.
These responses align with current figures in diversity representation in STEM professions.
When asked about the challenges that their organizations face in regard to diversity
recruitment for STEM professions, survey participants indicated that limited supply
is most challenging for technology and engineering diversity recruitment.
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