February 28, 2023

How To Improve Job Satisfaction According To Black Tech Employees

To offer an in-depth, data-backed look into the unique Black experience in the tech industry, the Info-Tech Research Group has published The State of Black Professionals in Tech report.

“Diversity in tech is not a new topic, and it’s not a secret that technology organizations struggle to attract and retain Black employees,” Allison Straker and Ugbad Farah, Info-Tech research directors and leads on the report, said in a statement.

“Current events have once again brought diversity to the forefront for many organizations. The pandemic, along with preparations for a recession and talent trends such as ‘the great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’ have not only impacted diversity at large, but also Black professionals in technology.”

Black respondents from countries including the US, Canada, Nigeria and the UK shared common feelings of dissatisfaction with their roles, facing barriers to career advancements and difficulties being their authentic selves at work.

However, Black professionals reported that working from home improved their mood and sense of safety and career advancement opportunities.

Research participants also ranked five potential solutions that could lead to improved job satisfaction. Here’s what they came up with:

1. Mentorship or sponsorship

Mentorship and sponsorship opportunities are especially important for increasing job satisfaction among Black professionals in tech. The study found that the percentage of satisfied Black employees almost doubles when they have a mentor or sponsorship, moving the satisfaction rate closer to their peers.

2. Training

“Much like mentorship and sponsorship, training is universally beneficial for all employees,” Info-Tech wrote in a statement. “But was ranked as highly important by Black respondents.”

3. ERGs

Black professionals stressed the importance of employee resource groups (ERGs), which allow employees to connect with their colleagues based on shared characteristics or life experiences. These largely employee-run groups provide peer support, opportunities for career growth and personal development, and offer a sense of belonging for otherwise minoritized employees.

4. Internal discussions around diversity

Non-Black colleagues ranked ‘discussions around diversity’ more highly than their Black colleagues. The firm says, “This may be because other groups feel a need to learn more about diversity, whereas Black professionals live this experience on a day-to-day basis, so it is not as critical for them.”

5. External acknowledgment

Finally, external acknowledgment was ranked similarly between both Black professionals and their non-Black colleagues.

You can download the full report here.

Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)