Cracks in the Foundation: Issues with Diversity and the Hiring Process in Computing Fields Conference

Lunn, SJ, Ross, MS. (2021). Cracks in the Foundation: Issues with Diversity and the Hiring Process in Computing Fields .

cited authors

  • Lunn, SJ; Ross, MS


  • There is presently a great demand for new hires in computing fields. However, the computing industry has issues, not only in terms of finding and maintaining enough workers, but also in terms of ensuring equal representation and opportunities for all races, ethnicities, and genders. Even though companies are aware that there is a need to improve representation of minoritized populations in the computing workplace, little progress has been made. While the problem itself is likely a complex convergence of factors, what has been established is that computing interviews do not help facilitate entry for computing graduates. This paper presents the results of a systematic literature review conducted to explore the hiring process in computing, and to examine how existing practices may create an additional barrier for female, Black/African American, and Hispanic/Latinx job applicants. We observed that although the present literature is full of anecdotes about the problems inherent with existing practices, it remains limited in discussing how workplace initiatives to broaden participation are applied during the hiring process itself. It was also quite evident that implicit biases are pervasive. Going forward, it is imperative that the computing industry reconsiders how it recruits, and which practices might exacerbate unequal representation. The findings from this work are intended to inform students and educators on the hiring process and how to prepare for technical interviews. Moreover, this research serves to provide industry with evidence of the problems inherent with the existing hiring system. Analysis of these results will be used to offer suggestions and guidelines that will enable a hiring process that can still achieve its target of finding qualified applicants, but that does so in a manner more justly to all job seekers.

publication date

  • July 26, 2021