While workplace diversity is usually centred on gender, race and age, it should extend to ensuring those with strong digital skills have a “seat at the table”, according to Yohan Ramasundara, president of ACS.
Indeed, Ramasundara told HRD that in order for companies to be in a position to embrace digital transformation, they need to have someone at the governance level with strong technical literacy.
So does HR have a significant role to play in promoting digital diversity as it does with other kinds of diversity, such as gender, race and age?
“Technology is a part of all of our lives and HR functions now have far greater access to technology which can help develop people and culture,” said Ramasundara.
“The use of data will be key here. Learning more about the people who work in an organisation will enable businesses to tailor roles and opportunities to attract and retain the best talent.”
Ramasundara added that the consequences of not promoting digital diversity can be disastrous.
“The biggest consequence will be the failure of a business, he said.
“However, this has flow-on effects to the entire economy. If businesses do not embrace diversity, they will find it increasingly difficult to build a workforce for the long term.
“Organisations that do not embrace digital will not survive the transition to ‘industry 4.0’. It is time for large organisations to realise that the governance level must have these skills in order to guide the business.”
Ramasundara added that organisations are undoubtedly getting better at embracing diversity, however there is “plainly more to be done”.
“While organisations like Google are leading the way, the majority of the digital sector is made up of SME’s,” he said.
“It can be harder for these businesses to embrace diversity, but it must be encouraged – and that is something that industry will need to work with Government on.”