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The State of Black Professionals in Tech

Keep inclusion at the forefront to gain the benefits from diversity.

  • The experience of Black professionals in IT differs from their colleagues.
  • Job satisfaction is also lower for Black IT professionals.
  • For organizations to gain from the benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion, they need to ensure they understand the landscape for many Black professionals.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • As an IT leader, you can make a positive difference in the working lives of your team; this is not just the domain of HR.
  • Employee goals can vary depending on the barriers that they encounter. IT leaders must ensure they have an understanding of unique employee needs to better support them, increasing their ability to recruit and retain.
  • Improve the experience of Black IT professionals by ensuring your organization has diversity in leadership and supports mentorship and sponsorship.

Impact and Result

  • Use the data from Info-Tech’s analysis to inform your DEI strategy.
  • Learn about actions that IT leaders can take to improve the satisfaction and career advancement of their Black employees.

The State of Black Professionals in Tech Research & Tools

1. The State of Black Professionals in Tech Report – A report providing you with advice on barriers and solutions for leaders of Black employees.

IT leaders often realize that there are barriers impacting their employees but don’t know how to address them. This report provides insights on the barriers and actions that can help improve the lives of Black professionals in technology.

The State of Black Professionals in Tech

Keep inclusion at the forefront to gain the benefits from diversity.

Analysts' Perspective

The experience of Black professionals in technology is unique.

Diversity in tech is not a new topic, and it's not a secret that technology organizations struggle to attract and retain Black employees. Ever since the early '90s, large tech organizations have been dealing with public critique of their lack of diversity. This topic is close to our hearts, but unfortunately while improvements have been made, progress is quite slow.

In recent years, current events have once again brought diversity to the forefront for many organizations. In addition, the pandemic along with talent trends such as "the great resignation" and "quiet quitting" and preparations for a recession have not only impacted diversity at large but also Black professionals in technology. Our previous research has focused on the wider topic of Recruiting and Retaining People of Color in Tech, but we've found that the experiences of persons of color are not all the same.

This study focuses on the unique experience of Black professionals in technology. Over 600 people were surveyed using an online tool; interviews provided additional insights. We're excited to share our findings with you.

This is a picture of Allison Straker This is an image of Ugbad Farah

Allison Straker
Research Director
Info-Tech Research Group

Ugbad Farah
Research Director
Info-Tech Research Group


In October 2021, we launched a survey to understand what the Black experience is like for people in technology. We wanted and received a variety of responses which would help us to understand how Black technology professionals experienced their working world. We received responses from 633 professionals, providing us with the data for this report.

For more information on our survey demographics please see the appendix at this end of this report.

A pie chart showing 26% black and 74% All Other

26% of our respondents either identified as Black or felt the world sees them as Black.

Professionals from various countries responded to the survey:

  • Most respondents were born in the US (52%), Canada (14%), India (14%), or Nigeria (4%).
  • Most respondents live in the US (56%), Canada (25%), Nigeria (2%), or the United Kingdom (2%).

Companies with more diversity achieve more revenue from innovation

Organizations do better and are more innovative when they have more diversity, a key ingredient in an organization's secret sauce.
Organizations also benefit from engaged employees, yet we've seen that organizations struggle with both. Just having a certain number of diverse individuals is not enough. When it comes to reaping the benefits of diversity, organizations can flourish when employees feel safe bringing their whole selves to work.

45% Innovation Revenue by Companies With Above-Average Diversity Scores

Innovation Revenue by Companies With Below-Average Diversity Scores

(Chart source: McKinsey, 2020)

Companies with higher employee engagement experience 19.2% higher earnings.

However, those with lower employee engagement experience 32.7% lower earnings.
(DecisionWise, 2020)

If your workforce doesn't reflect the community it serves, your business may be missing out on the chance to find great employees and break into new and growing markets, both locally and globally.
Diversity makes good business sense.
(Business Development Canada, 2023)

A study about Black professionals

Why is this about Black professionals and not other diverse groups?

While there are a variety of diversity dimensions, it's important to understand what makes up a "multicultural workforce." There is more to diversity than gender, race, and ethnicity. Organizations need to understand that there is diversity within these groups and Black professionals have their own unique experience when it comes to entering and navigating tech that needs to be addressed.

This image contains two bar graphs from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. They show the answers to two questions, sorted by the following categories: Black; Non-White; Asian; White. The questions are as follows: I feel comfortable to voice my opinion, even when it differs from the group opinion; I am part of the decision-making process at work.

(Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2019)

The solutions that apply to Black professionals are not only beneficial for Black employees but for all. While all demographics are unique, the solutions in this report can support many.

Unsatisfied and underrepresented

Less Black professionals responded as "satisfied" in their IT careers. The question is: How do we mend the Gap?

Percentage of IT Professionals Who Reported Being Very Satisfied in Their Current Role

  • All Other Professionals: 34%
  • Black Professionals: 23%

Black workers are underrepresented in most professional roles, especially computer and math Occupations

A bar graph showing representation of black workers in the total workforce compared to computer and mathematical science occupations.

The gap in satisfaction

What's Important?

Our research suggests that the differences in satisfaction among ethnic groups are related to differences in value systems. We asked respondents to rank what's important, and we explored why.

Non-Black professionals rated autonomy and their manager working relationships as most important.

For Black professionals, while those were important, #1 was promotion and growth opportunities, ranked #7 by all other professionals. This is a significant discrepancy.

Recognition of my work/accomplishments also was viewed significantly differently, with Black professionals ranking it low on the list at #7 and all other professionals considering it very important at #3.

All Other Professionals

Black Professionals

Two columns, containing metrics of satisfaction rated by Black Professionals, and All Other Professionals.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs applies to job satisfaction

In Maslow's hierarchy, it is necessary for people to achieve items lower on the hierarchy before they can successfully pursue the higher tiers.

An image of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs modified to apply to Job Satisfaction

Too many Black professionals in tech are busy trying to achieve some of the lower parts of the hierarchy; it is stopping them from achieving elements higher up that can lead to job satisfaction.

This can stop them from gaining esteem, importance, and ultimately, self-actualization. The barriers that impact safety and social belonging happen on a day-to-day basis, and so the day-to-day lives of Black professionals in tech can look very different from their counterparts.

There are barriers that hinder and solutions that support employees

An image showing barriers to success An image showing Actions for Success.
There are various barriers that increase the likelihood for Black professionals to focus on the lower end of the needs hierarchy:

These are among some of the solutions that, when layered, can support Black professionals in tech in moving up the needs hierarchy.

Focusing on these actions can support Black professionals in achieving much needed job satisfaction.

Keep inclusion at the forefront to gain the benefits from diversity.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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Allison Straker

Ugbad Farah


  • Carlos Thomas, Executive Counselor, Info-Tech Research Group
  • C. Fara Francis, CIO, Center for Creative Leadership
  • Cinnamon Clark, Practice Lead, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Services, McLean & Company
  • 633 Survey Respondents
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