How to Be a Pro-Diversity Engineering Manager (6 Key Strategies)
Building a Remote Workforce

How to Be a Pro-Diversity Engineering Manager (6 Key Strategies)

by Crossover
How to Be a Pro-Diversity Engineering Manager (6 Key Strategies)
  • Defining Diversity and Inclusion
  • Building a Pro-Diversity Toolbox
  • Creating a Thriving Future Together

Wondering how to be a pro-diversity engineering manager? Managers have the power to cultivate an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique talents – but achieving this remotely can be a challenge.

Research shows diverse teams are 35% more productive, and earn 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee. Creating an inclusive team isn't just a box to tick, it's a smart business imperative. 

This article gives you actionable strategies to become a pro-diversity engineering manager, unlocking your team's full potential and driving innovation.

Defining Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity in engineering goes beyond the basic notions of race and gender. It includes a rich tapestry of differences, including age, sexual orientation, educational background, socioeconomic status, and even personality types. 

By embracing these differences, you build a team with diverse perspectives, a critical ingredient for generating a wider range of ideas. This team will be able to tackle complex challenges from various angles.

Inclusion goes hand-in-hand with diversity. It's about ensuring everyone feels like they belong, their voices are heard, and their contributions are valued, regardless of their background. 

An inclusive environment creates a sense of psychological safety, where individuals feel comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas freely, and learning from their mistakes.

Building a Pro-Diversity Toolbox

Now that we understand the "why" behind fostering a diverse and inclusive team, let's explore the "how." 

Here are 6 key strategies you can implement:

1. Champion a Culture of Open Communication and Respect

Set the tone from the top by actively promoting open communication and respectful dialogue within your team. It starts with you. 

Encourage team members to share ideas freely, listen actively to each other, and provide constructive feedback without fear of judgment. That way everyone will feel comfortable contributing, regardless of their seniority or background.

2. Demolish the Walls of Bias

Implicit biases, unconscious preferences, and prejudices can hold individuals back and strain team dynamics. 

Actively educate yourself and your team about unconscious bias and how it shows up in the workplace. This can involve workshops, training sessions, and book clubs focused on diversity and inclusion topics. 

Implement fair and objective processes for tasks like performance evaluations, promotions, and project assignments to minimize the risk of bias creeping in.

3. Embrace Continuous Learning and Development

Provide equal access to top-notch training, development programs, and mentorship opportunities for all team members. 

That way everyone has the chance to learn new skills, expand their burgeoning careers, and advance quickly within the company. 

Consider partnering with external organizations or mentorship programs specifically focused on supporting underrepresented groups in engineering.

4. Celebrate Differences and Create a Sense of Belonging

Celebrate the unique aspects and contributions of each team member. 

Organize team-building activities that forge connections and understanding across different backgrounds and experiences. 

Go a step further, and recognize team members who actively champion diversity and inclusion within the team. 

By creating a sense of belonging, you boost morale, explode collaboration, and unlock the collective power of your diverse team.

5. Hold Yourself and Others Accountable

As a leader, you set the example for your team. 

Regularly evaluate your own management practices, solicit feedback from team members, and be open to adapting your approach. Hold everyone accountable for upholding the team's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

6. The Tangible Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Team

Beyond the ethical imperative, being an ambassador for diversity and inclusion in engineering has clear positive outcomes.

Studies consistently show diverse teams are more innovative, creative, effective at problem-solving – and ultimately, are more profitable. 

They’re better equipped to understand and cater to the needs of diverse consumers and markets, leading to a wider range of product and service offerings. 

Plus, creating an inclusive environment leads to increased employee engagement, reduced turnover rates, and improved overall team morale.

Creating a Thriving Future Together

Your team’s diversity is its strength. 

Implementing the strategies outlined here creates a space where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered. 

Use these strategies to become a pro-diversity engineering manager who not only enhances team performance, creativity, and innovation – but also contributes to a more equitable and inclusive tech industry. 

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