News Analysis

Tech giants bring a new mindset to corporate life

by Stephen Conmy on Nov 18, 2022

The global tech giants with European bases in Ireland have transformed the traditional, patriarchal corporate landscape – making business life in Ireland more inclusive, creative, entrepreneurial and diverse.

What’s happened?

According to a recent article in the Financial Times, international tech giants have brought a mindset of acceptance and diversity to business in Ireland.

Diversity, equality, and inclusion are now essential features of corporate life in a country that has changed socially beyond recognition in the last decade.

Technology giants like Google, Meta, and Amazon have helped bring a diverse mindset to Ireland, enhancing corporate life and boosting state coffers simultaneously.

How do we know?

One metric is the number of women in tech leadership roles.

According to Nash Squared’s 2022 Digital Leadership Report, 18 per cent of tech leaders in Ireland are women, up from 12.5 per cent last year and ahead of a 14 per cent figure globally.

“Ireland is punching well above its weight in terms of female talent in the tech sector,” says Stafford Bagot, a partner at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

The percentage of women in tech teams in Ireland is 27 per cent, compared to 23 per cent worldwide.

Nash Squared finds that of new tech hires in Ireland, 28 per cent are women.

The startup scene in Ireland

In 2015, an early-stage investment fund, Frontline Ventures, began tracking how many tech startups and firms it invested in were founded by women.

Only 6 per cent of its portfolio had female founders at that time.

William McQuillan, a Frontline Ventures founder and partner, says it will exceed 30 per cent this year.

Among Frontline’s portfolio of tech ventures, 15 per cent have non-white founders, up from 10 per cent in 2018.

In a country where only 8 per cent of the population is non-white, this is well ahead of the national average.

Young workers want to feel included

“Lately, there’s been a real surge around neurodiverse inclusion,” says Áine Maher, a mental well-being, diversity and belonging consultant working with tech clients. Neurodiversity means that people interact with the world around them differently due to differences in brain and cognition.

Focusing on inclusion, where people feel accepted without having to conform, is the way to keep employees happy and engaged, particularly younger generations.

“Diversity drives recruitment. But inclusion is what really drives retention in the war on talent when you have Gen Z staff jumping around between companies,” says Maher.

You can read the full report here.

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