Evolving Workforces

Diversity in Tech Talent: A Deep Dive into CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent 2022 Report

11 Aug 2022 4 Minute Read

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Today’s businesses increasingly seek diversity-based strategies for hiring tech talent. While location has always played a role in attracting diverse candidates, it's even more important in today's evolving workforce.

This brief analysis dives deeper into the 45 U.S. markets featured in CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent 2022 report and scores them based on the diversity of their tech workforces.

For this analysis, a market’s diversity is measured by the distribution of tech talent across three categories: race/ethnicity, gender and age. The total index score is a combination of the index scores from each of these three categories.

The individual scores are calculated based on how tech talent is distributed among each category in that demographic group, with the following categories identified.
A market with a higher index score will have a broad range in coverage across every category (age, race/ethnicity and gender). Markets with lower scores will have tech talent that is highly concentrated in one or a smaller number of demographic groups. The market median score is 100. Any market that scores lower than 100 is less diverse than the median and markets that score over 100 will be more diverse.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Racial and ethnic diversity is measured on the uniformity of distribution of tech talent in a market among seven different racial/ethnic groups. CBRE’s model scores the markets on how well each category is represented, without a bias for any specific group.

As an example, a market with 50% white representation and 50% Hispanic/Latino representation may score well in a different type of diversity model. However, that market would not score well in this model because there is 0% representation among the other five ethnic groups.

According to this analysis, Houston is the top-scoring market for ethnic diversity in tech talent, followed by Sacramento and Miami. 

Figure 1: Racial/Ethnic Diversity


Source: Lightcast (Economic Modeling) Q2 2022; CBRE Americas Consulting, Labor Analytics, 2022.

Age Diversity

Diversity among age groups has become increasingly important. Fostering a workforce that represents a range of age cohorts increases the variety of experience and perspective in the technology sector.

In this model, age diversity is measured on the uniformity of distribution of tech talent in a market among eight different age groups.

Rochester tops the list as the most diverse market by age for tech talent, with a particularly higher concentration of older tech workers compared to other markets in the analysis.

Miami, Hartford, Baltimore and Jacksonville round out the top 5, because their age variance is higher than the market median.

Figure 2: Age Diversity


Source: Lightcast (Economic Modeling) Q2 2022; CBRE Americas Consulting, Labor Analytics, 2022.

Gender Diversity

Available data sources consider only two gender categories, male and female. Without data for nonbinary or unidentified preferences, a market that scores high on the gender diversity index would have a tech workforce of 50% male and 50% female. While no market reached this level of gender parity within their tech workforce, high-scoring markets had more of an even spread between male and female tech workers.

Sacramento and Virginia Beach both had the highest percentage of female representation in their workforce at 29%, giving them the top scores in this index.

Richmond, Atlanta and Nashville rounded out the top five. All have a tech workforce that is 28% female and 72% male.

Figure 3: Gender Diversity


Source: Lightcast (Economic Modeling) Q2 2022; CBRE Americas Consulting, Labor Analytics, 2022.

Combined Index Score

Out of the 45 U.S. markets analyzed in this article, the following locations scored best overall:

Figure 4: Total Diversity


Source: Lightcast (Economic Modeling) Q2 2022; CBRE Americas Consulting, Labor Analytics, 2022.

Sacramento scores above the market median for ethnic, gender and age distribution in tech talent, giving it the top overall diversity score. It’s the only market that appears in the top 10 in all three diversity categories.

Florida has two of the top three markets. California has three of the top 10 markets, while Texas has two.

Figure 5: STT Score vs. Total Diversity


Source: Lightcast (Economic Modeling) Q2 2022; CBRE Americas Consulting, Labor Analytics, 2022.

Tech Talent Score vs. Diversity

Figure 5 shows each metro area’s diversity score from this analysis versus its overall score from the Scoring Tech Talent 2022 report. Not all of the top-scoring diversity markets also scored in the top tier for overall tech talent.

Diversity is an increasingly critical component of companies’ tech talent location strategies. When selecting a market for growth, companies typically focus on cities with a high supply of targeted skills, less direct competition for the same talent and lower labor costs. Savvy business leaders are also adding diversity to those primary decision drivers, seeking a market with an above-average mix of diversity indicators like ethnicity, age and gender.

CBRE Labor Analytics and Americas Consulting welcome the opportunity to provide more details on this market analysis or location strategies. For more information, please contact any of the article authors below.

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