NEWS28 October 2022

Diversity of data and analytics industry stagnates

Data analytics Inclusion News People UK

UK – There has been no change in the diversity of the UK data industry over the past year, according to data and analytics recruitment firm Harnham.

Multiple people from different backgrounds

In its annual State of diversity in data and analytics report, Harnham said that while 42% of entry-level professionals in the industry were from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, only 16% of people at director level fell into this category.

White professionals make up a smaller percentage of the data and analytics industry ( 75%) than they do of the UK population as a whole ( 86% nationally), but the report said that some minority groups were still underrepresented.

For example, while Asian professionals accounted for 15% of the industry (versus 7.8% in the 2011 census), black professionals only accounted for 3% of the industry (versus 3.5% in the 2011 census).

The ethnicity pay gap, which measures the difference between the average pay of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds and their white counterparts, is up by more than a half from last year to a total of 8%, according to Harnham.

The highest-paid individual group in the industry are white men, who earn an average of £69,260 per year, while the lowest paid group are black women, who earn an average of £53,850. This equates to a pay gap of 22%.

Harnham said the report, which is based on data from 9,500 respondents, shows that gender parity among first roles in the data industry was now at 40%, although only 28% of all workers in the industry were women.

The gender pay gap across data and analytics is 6%, according to Harnham, which is below the UK average of 9.8%.

Data and technology, data science and digital analytics all saw falls in the proportion of female professionals last year, Harnham said, with digital analytics registering a drop from 37% female to 32%.

David Farmer, chief executive at Harnham, said: “Although we should be positive about the progress the industry has made, clearly, this is not the time to hang up our boots.

“It is vital to us that we continue to monitor the industry’s progress and do not shy away from revealing where gaps exist. There is no benefit in burying our heads in the sand, we must instead continue striving forwards.

“We know that change takes time, but I firmly believe that if businesses and, crucially, educational institutions keep pushing for better diversity, we will see significant change over the next five to 10 years.”