Technology companies are adapting to new business model, but they are still adapting to a world where their core customers are often people from outside the country, according to the head of a major Irish technology organisation.
Key points:The Institute of Technology Ireland has been lobbying for a national policy for technology companies over the last few yearsThe Irish technology industry is increasingly international and a large part of its growth has been driven by global growthThe report suggests the need for Ireland to have an inclusive, national policy”The Institute for Technology Ireland, which has been advocating for a new policy for Irish tech firms over the past few years, said it was the first time the sector had been asked to take on board the concerns of the Government about a lack of diversity.”
There is still a long way to go,” said Paul Connolly, CEO of the institute, which also represents companies including the Irish National Grid and the Irish Bankers’ Association.”
What we are hearing is a lot of companies are very worried about diversity, and we’re not really having that conversation with the Government,” he said.
Mr Connolly said the focus should be on diversity in the workforce, and in terms of hiring, promotion and retention, not just in technology companies.”
It’s a different conversation to the one that’s being had with the government about diversity,” he added.
That is why we have been advocating and working with industry groups to develop this national policy.””
It is time that we had a national technology policy that would recognise and reflect the diverse skills of the workforce and not just the skills of people who come from outside,” Mr Connolly added.
“That is why we have been advocating and working with industry groups to develop this national policy.”
We are very clear that we want a national tech policy that reflects the diversity of the population, not only the diversity that’s in the technology sector.
“Mr Connollys concerns over the lack of minority representation in tech positions has been shared by the Irish Association of Computer and Information Sciences, which represents the industry in the country.
It has been trying to create a platform for companies to have a more inclusive and inclusive workplace policy that also reflects the needs of the wider economy.”
The diversity of our workforce is the reason that we have so many companies across the world, but it is not the only reason,” said Niamh Farrell, general secretary of the IACIS.”
In Ireland, there is still an overrepresentation of white and black and other ethnic groups in key roles, but the issue is that in the tech sector, we do not have an adequate policy for diversity in that.
‘Unnecessary’ to be a tech companyIt is important that the policy reflect the diversity in workforce, said IACSI general secretary Michael O’Donovan.””
There’s not a lot that the industry is saying and doing about this, because it is so important for the future of the sector,” she added.
‘Unnecessary’ to be a tech companyIt is important that the policy reflect the diversity in workforce, said IACSI general secretary Michael O’Donovan.
“I think the problem is that the Government has not made the right decision.
It is essential that we get to a point where we are able to have the policy that we need to make, which is a policy that gives an appropriate level of diversity in terms, so that there is no unnecessary barriers to entry,” he told The Irish Independent.”
But I think there’s a lot to be said for having a more integrated and inclusive environment for technology firms and a policy in place that is reflective of the needs and concerns of all sectors of the economy.”
Mr O’Dovan said there was a “need for a greater focus” on diversity, particularly in the IT sector.
However, Mr Connollies concerns over a lack in minority representation within the industry were echoed by others.
IACSI’s executive director, Patrick O’Doherty, said he was concerned that the current focus on diversity was a waste of time.
He said:”The industry has got to be very clear about how it should be.
It should be about people from different backgrounds, not about a particular colour, nationality, gender.”
At the moment, there’s no one in the industry who’s particularly well-known as being from the North East.
“This is a white, middle-class, highly educated, highly professional, international company that has come to Ireland, and that needs to be reflected.”
“In terms of the policy, I would argue that it’s very unhelpful.”
If you are a white male, or you are an Irish male, you’re not going to have much success in Ireland,” he concluded.