DISCRIMINATION AND DEPRESSION ARE COMMON IN UK TECH INDUSTRY, REPORT SAYS
The ‘Tech Inclusion & Diversity Report’ shows there’s still a long way to go to defeat depression and discrimination in the UK tech industry, with tech professionals five times more depressed than the national average.
The British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) has released this new report on the UK tech industry, highlighting diversity and mental health issues across the sector. The report has found that tech professionals are five times more depressed than the national average, with stress levels comparable to NHS employees and the health sector.
Across over 3,000 respondents, 52% have worryingly stated that they’ve suffered from anxiety or depression at some point, with web design and development and admin and project management marked as the most stressful roles overall. Furthermore, stress and depression are worst in ‘susceptible groups and individuals,’ such as those with physical or mental disabilities.
Though an unrelated report from another area of communications, the recent PRCA Census has come to similar conclusions regarding mental health issues: worryingly, a third of the PR industry has also reported struggling with stress and depression, with 32% of respondents revealing they have suffered or been diagnosed with mental illness during their career. This result is allegedly due to equally long work hours, worsened by a decline in incomes throughout the PR industry.
However, mental health issues are not the only concerns in tech; the report also shows evidence of discrimination, as 22% of the respondents stated they’ve felt discriminated at least once in their career – either due to stereotypical assumptions, denied opportunities or lack of appropriate support and training.
BIMA’s report shows employers are not doing enough to fight mental health issues or to advocate inclusion in the tech industry. But it offers some solutions in conclusion, for both businesses and individuals operating in the sector: change must come from the top, supported by senior professionals, and it must be conceived with inclusivity in mind. Individuals are encouraged to look for help at any point in their career, speaking up about concerns and issues before they become serious, diagnosable illnesses.
The reality depicted by BIMA’s report sounds daunting, and the future surely is paved with obstacles at every step to tackle such consolidated problems. It is up to employers to take on the challenge, looking to create a better industry for all the existing and upcoming tech professionals in the UK.