How Black-Owned Web Design Agencies are Promoting Inclusivity in Tech

How Black-Owned Web Design Agencies are Promoting Inclusivity in Tech
Written By
Date
January 29, 2024

The technology industry has always been a driving force behind our modern society, shaping everything from our communication methods to business practices. However, as the industry continues to grow and evolve, the importance of diversity and inclusivity has become increasingly evident. Diverse teams are more likely to outperform those lacking diversity, even if members of the less diverse group are individually more highly skilled. Inclusivity helps broaden the impact of innovation, with diverse and inclusive organizations being 87% more likely to make better decisions and 75% faster at bringing products to market. 

“Research shows that diverse and inclusive organizations, when compared to their peers, are: 87% more likely to make better decisions, according to Korn Ferry Research. 75% faster at bringing products to market, according to the Center for Talent Innovation.”
Reference: The importance of inclusion in the workplace - KornFerry.com

Amidst these challenges, Black-owned web design companies have emerged as significant players in promoting inclusivity in the tech space. These companies, by their very existence and operation, challenge the status quo, providing opportunities and representation where it has traditionally been lacking. They are paving the way for a more inclusive future in tech, where everyone, irrespective of their race or ethnicity, can contribute to and benefit from the innovation economy.

The Current State of Diversity in Tech

The tech industry, even in Canada, continues to grapple with significant disparities. For instance, the percentage of women in the tech workforce has stalled below 30% for the last decade. 

In Canada, the percentage of women in the tech workforce has stalled below 30% for the last decade, according to the Information and Communications Technology Council’s “Gender Equity in Canada’s Tech Ecosystem: Attracting, Retaining, and Supporting Entry- and Mid-Level Talent” report.

Furthermore, a study found that only 2.6% of the Canadian technical workforce was Black. Also, despite an increase over the years, women continue to be underrepresented on technology company boards, with only 23% of directors at technology companies being women, compared to 25% for TSX-listed companies as a whole​​.

Current State of Diversity in Tech
Image Source - https://brookfieldinstitute.ca/wp-content/uploads/FINAL-Tech-Workers-ONLINE.pdf

There are several barriers to inclusivity in tech. These include gaps in educational attainment, where underrepresented groups tend to have lower rates of higher education, difficulty accessing funding from traditional financial institutions, and experience the effects of unconscious bias and discrimination — including hiring bias, systemic and stereotypical attitudes, physical inaccessibility, and prejudice and discrimination in both education and the workforce​. To overcome these barriers, companies can implement strategies such as removing barriers to access, implementing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy, and encouraging work-integrated learning for all​.

Despite these challenges, there are promising initiatives, such as the Black Innovation Fellowship at Toronto Metropolitan University and the Coalition of Innovative Leaders Against Racism (CILAR), which are working to dismantle systemic racism and create opportunities for the Black Community, Indigenous peoples, and persons of colour​​.

The Impact of Inclusive Web Design

In today's interconnected world, the power of a well-designed website cannot be overemphasized. It serves as the digital storefront for any business, often providing the first point of contact for potential customers. For black business owners in Canada, the importance of a strong online presence is paramount. Inclusive web design plays a crucial role in this digital representation, helping ensure that all customers, regardless of their background or abilities, can access and navigate these websites effectively.

Inclusive web design is all about creating online spaces that provide an equitable user experience for everyone. This inclusivity focuses not only on those with disabilities but also on the broader spectrum of users from various racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. Inclusive design acknowledges the wide diversity among users, and instead of trying to make a one-size-fits-all solution, it aims to cater to each user's unique needs and preferences.

The Impact of Inclusive Web Design

Black entrepreneurs in Canada can leverage inclusive web design to enhance customer inclusivity, broadening their customer base. A survey by the Global Web Index revealed that 59% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that demonstrates inclusivity and diversity. By incorporating elements such as user-friendly navigation, black business owners can ensure their online platforms are welcoming to all, potentially increasing their customer reach.

The inclusive consumer is more likely than other shoppers to buy Black-owned brands out of a desire to support diverse entrepreneurs on their growth journeys and small businesses in general. Ref: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/the-rise-of-the-inclusive-consumer

Culturally relevant web design is another key aspect of inclusivity. Black business owners have the opportunity to incorporate elements of their unique cultural identity, thereby attracting customers seeking diverse experiences. According to a study by Adobe, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. By infusing culturally relevant imagery, stories, and language styles, black business owners can enhance their digital appeal, thus driving engagement and loyalty.

To conclude, inclusive web design offers a powerful mechanism for black entrepreneurs in Canada to create welcoming, accessible, and culturally representative digital platforms. By embracing inclusivity in web design, we can shape a digital landscape that reflects and celebrates our richly diverse society.

How Black-owned Web Design Companies are Leading Change

Black-owned web design companies are at the forefront of the inclusivity movement in technology, paving the way for more equitable and accessible digital experiences. These businesses, understanding firsthand the nuances and importance of representation and accessibility, are uniquely positioned to influence the design norms and create websites that are truly inclusive.

Businesses led by individuals from diverse backgrounds, including black entrepreneurs, are more likely to hire diverse talent and cultivate an inclusive workplace culture. This trend subsequently amplifies the ripple effect, as a diverse workforce often leads to more diverse, innovative, and inclusive products and solutions.

Black-owned web design companies, through their commitment to inclusivity, are not only providing platforms that cater to a wide range of users, but they're also setting an industry standard for others to follow.

Future Trends and Predictions for Inclusivity and Diversity in Tech

Looking forward, we can expect to see the tech industry continue to evolve toward greater inclusivity and diversity. AI advancements will likely play a significant role in this transformation, enhancing website accessibility and user experience. Tools that automate accessibility compliance checks and adaptive interfaces that adjust according to user needs are likely to become commonplace.

Future Trends and Predictions for Inclusivity and Diversity in Tech
Image Source: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/how-diverse-leadership-teams-boost-innovation

Moreover, the increasing recognition of the social and economic benefits of diversity will likely propel further investment and innovation in this field. A study by the Boston Consulting Group showed that companies with diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation. This kind of data is motivating organizations to foster diversity and inclusivity, a trend that we anticipate will continue to grow.

Conclusion

Black-owned web design companies in Canada are championing the move towards greater inclusivity in technology. Their commitment to crafting digital platforms that are accessible, representative, and user-friendly is not only benefiting their businesses but also transforming the industry's landscape. By embracing the principles of inclusive design, these companies are contributing to a more equitable digital world, setting a positive example for others to follow.

Ready to Start a Project?

Ready to take your business to the next level? Let's embark on a journey of transformation together.

Contact