Inclusive workplaces are the future of successful businesses. This may seem like a simple concept, but embracing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is critical in driving growth.
There are many aspects to DE&I. Diversity is the representation and inclusion of individuals from various backgrounds. Equity means fair treatment, access, and opportunity for all individuals, taking into account their diverse backgrounds and circumstances. Inclusion is creating a supportive and welcoming environment that values and respects the contributions and perspectives of all individuals.
Organizations need to have structures, systems, processes and initiatives designed to promote fair treatment, access, opportunities, and outcomes for all people. They also need to promote the feeling of belonging in the organization and team, feeling treated with dignity as an individual, and feeling encouraged to fully participate. As a commitment to DE&I becomes more and more important to the next generation of talent, a growing number of job seekers are also demanding transparency when recruiting. Efforts on DE&I will result in improved business performance, profitability and, of course, employee commitment to the company.
At Aura, we believe that DE&I goes beyond the standard metrics that company usually releasees, such as percentage of females and percentage of minorities. We believe that there is a need to dive deeper and have devised a scoring metric that focuses on diversity & inclusion across functions and levels. We also believe that factors such as tenure across different groups have a strong correlation to a company's outlook towards DE&I.
The AURA DE&I score presented below relies on talent-related data and focuses on four key metrics that provide valuable insights into the diversity and inclusion efforts within the organization.
We focused on 15 of the top US technology companies, which includes classic software companies and semiconductor giants. Adobe, Salesforce, and Oracle are leaders among the companies we looked with spikes seen on different aspects. In contrast, semiconductor companies tend to lag other technology companies due to the heavy emphasis on engineering and research at these companies and a lack of female talents in these fields.
Deep dive into Adobe, Salesforce, and Oracle – DEI leaders in this cohort
Based on the Aura DE&I score, Adobe, Salesforce, and Oracle are the top leaders among the top technology companies considered in this set. These three companies do a relatively good job among most of the metrics the Aura DE&I score covers.
Representation – relatively balanced among leadership and overall employee base yet still gaps to be filled
Adobe, Salesforce, and Oracle have a relatively balanced workforce today. Using Oracle and Adobe as examples, we can see that there is still room for improvement with certain underrepresented groups such as Hispanic and Black. Companies can consider targeted programs to increase representation, such as summer internship programs for these underrepresented groups or affinity programs.
Looking at Oracle’s leadership team, we see that representation is relatively similar to the overall employee base, with less than 3 percentage point difference between the leadership team and the employee bases for each ethnic group.
Adobe, on the other hand, has a less diverse leadership team, with more than 70% of the leadership being White.
One thing worth pointing out, however, is these underrepresented groups, such as Hispanic and Black, have lower representation at the leadership level. This is a common DE&I issue among many companies – few ways of tackling this can be more transparent promotion and succession planning and mentorship and sponsorship programs.
Ethnicity across functions – areas of improvement in sales and marketing
The representation data above gives a good sense of ethnic diversity at overall company level. However, it is also important to ensure diversity across departments. Many employees interact more within their own department, thus having diversity within the department promotes a broader range of perspectives and ideas, fostering innovation and creativity.
Oracle and Salesforce have a relatively balanced organization overall. Yet with some of the more relationship-driven departments, such as Sales, people from ethnic minority groups still struggle with representation. Companies can consider having targeted recruiting initiatives such as Black and Latinx in engineering summer programs to improve diversity.
Average tenure for different ethnic groups - areas of improvement among certain ethnic groups but relatively balanced between male and female
A new set of software engineering hotspots are emerging away from cities with physical office outposts
Aura DE&I score also considers how balanced tenure is for employees from different ethnic backgrounds and gender. One signal of employees having a sense of belonging is the willingness to stay at the company for a longer period of time. This is also a key metric to look at to make sure that the organization promotes fairness and mitigate potential biases or discrimination.
Oracle is one of the technology companies Aura analyzed that has good tenure metrics, even though we still found slightly lower average tenure among Hispanic and Black employees as well as female employees. Some of the programs Oracle have in place, such as Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL), might have helped with bridging the gap. In contrast, some companies in this set have a bit more work to do on this front. For example, we see a ~5-year tenure gap between White and Asian / Hispanic employees at IBM and ~4 years at Intel.
Female representation – significant potential for improvement both at the leadership level and at the overall level
Gender diversity in companies brings numerous benefits. It promotes a wider range of perspectives and experiences, leading to more innovative and creative solutions to problems. Different genders often approach challenges from distinct angles, enhancing the overall decision-making process.
For many technology companies, however, there is still a long way to go in order to achieve gender diversity and inclusion. Aura data shows that female accounts for less than 35% of the workforce at Oracle. Salesforce is slightly better at 40%. Furthermore, when individuals see themselves represented in leadership positions, they feel valued and are more likely to contribute their best work. However, there is an even lower percentage of women at the top level compared with the overall company for both Salesforce and Oracle, indicating room for improvement.
Founded by Bain & Company in 2020, Aura is a workforce analytics platform consisting of over 10M companies, 950M working professionals, 20M skills, 400M jobs, daily updates, and easy reporting. Through a convenient monthly subscription service and with a track record of servicing hundreds of Bain & Company’s clients, Aura is your partner in understanding workforce-related topics, such as hiring patterns, retention, promotion, employee efficiency, diversity and inclusion. Experience the future of workforce analytics and unlock your competitive edge with Aura.