Reflections on a Year of Perseverance and Community

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Snow covered branches against background with cirlces of light

As we wrap up another year and look forward to 2022, I cannot help but reflect on the early part of this year when it seemed that the pandemic was winding down, companies had pivoted where needed, and we were poised to return to a more normal environment. Then came Delta and now Omicron.

Through it all, we have seen tremendous resilience and agility across the tech community. While we have all been impacted by COVID and the resulting business disruptions, we have also been challenged to engage more deeply with our customers, employees, and communities, and to innovate our product offerings to meet new opportunities and overcome new challenges.

While the individual experiences of companies, and the people within them, have in many cases been difficult, the industry as a whole has bounced back with companies projecting strong growth in the year ahead. According to our most recent Tech Pulse Survey, 89% of companies are projecting global growth despite the continuing challenges presented by the pandemic, global supply chain issues, and a restless workforce that is sparking a massive rate of job change known as the Great Migration.

Talent continues to be the number one reason companies locate in Massachusetts, and the inability to hire enough remains the number one constraint to growth. The Great Resignation has only added pressure to an already challenging employment landscape. As a result, companies are investing in brand visibility, talent acquisition and retention, DEI, professional and leadership development, and office technology, and are experimenting with innovative working arrangements as they seek to attract and retain talent in their organizations.

In addition to a high volume of open requisitions – we currently have over 7,000 listings on MassTLC’s industry job board – we are seeing an increased focus on building more diverse and inclusive teams. Many companies are working with the dozens of community organizations promoted through our MassTalent initiative that are striving to meet the needs of industry by building more diverse tech talent pathways.

Companies are also working to build more inclusive and supportive cultures that respect not just race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and differing abilities, but also remote, in-person and hybrid workers, and those who are ready to come back and those who are not. This greater appreciation for differences and stronger appreciation for personal circumstances is contributing to a more supportive culture that respects people for who they are and where they are.

Finally, we’ve seen companies giving back to their communities around the world. As organizations recognize that they are a stakeholder in the communities in which they operate, they are stepping up to support those communities. From providing free or discounted offerings during challenging times to supporting local non-profits and paying for employees to volunteer outside their companies, companies are trying to think globally while acting locally as they give back.

While we don’t know what curveballs will be coming in 2022, the experience of the past 20 months or so gives us confidence that the tech industry will continue to thrive. We know our community will rise to the occasion, continuing to use technology to address global challenges, innovating and growing our businesses, and developing deeper, more meaningful connections with our teams.

We wish our community of tech leaders a year filled with problems to solve and challenges to overcome as we continue to innovate and make the world a better place, one solution at a time. Happy new year!