Visible minority representation dropping in B.C. tech sector: study

posted on November 12, 2021

Percentage of visible minorities in tech jobs falls in 2021 compared with 2020, says report

The hunt for talent within B.C.’s tech sector has been on a tear this past year.

But representation within the sector hasn’t been moving at quite the same clip with a new study revealing diversity within some categories has dropped since 2020.

The percentage of tech workers who identify as visible minorities has dropped from 43.3% to 41% over the past year, according to data released Wednesday by Vancouver-based HR Tech Group.

And a peek into the C-suite reveals an even larger gap: 19% of executives identify as visible minorities compared with 24% a year earlier.

This comes at a time when demand for tech talent has been surging.

An October report from CBRE Group Inc. determined Vancouver is the third fastest-growing tech hub in North America after drawing 12,900 workers (+20.9%) over the past two years. 

And Ilya Brotzky, CEO of VanHack Technologies Inc., told BIV in the spring a record number of companies have been tapping his recruitment firm’s services, with 18 jumping on board in a single week in March.

“It’s been crazy, we have never seen things as busy as they are now,” he said.

The HR Tech Group’s data does not indicate there are a fewer number of visible minorities working within the tech sector, but that they now make up a smaller percentage following a year of significant hiring.

Meanwhile, the industry appears to be making small gains in other categories, based on respondents’ answers.

Tech workers who identify as women now make up 33.2% of the sector compared with 31.9% a year ago.

Indigenous workers now account for 0.7% of the industry compared with 0.5% last year, and those who identify as LGBTQ+/two-spirit account for 8.3% of the industry vs. 8.2% last year.

And workers with disabilities make up 2.9% of the tech industry compared with 2.1% in 2020.

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