A female and technology immigrant, DE & I is a top priority for my own efforts. My company is female driven and our team is multicultural and multinational. And to be honest, it turns out that executives don’t have to be convinced that diversity, fairness, and inclusiveness are good ideas. It’s not a challenge. Instead, it’s a way to ensure that equality is actually made.
For that to happen, we have to work a little (or a lot) more. Fortunately, many industry leaders and influencers are taking action to make the technology industry more diverse and comprehensive.
Where we are with DE & I
Why focus on the technology industry when it comes to diversity? It’s simple-growth, opportunity, and sustainability. Work in this industry is growing at twice the rate of other sectors of the US economy. We have a real opportunity to have a strong and positive impact. And technical jobs are generally expensive and less susceptible to recession.
As technology grows, it’s important to make sure that the industry reflects our diverse population. Technology trends should be developed by teams that represent the breadth of humanity. Innovation from a single perspective is short-sighted. Technology diversity also means diversity of perspectives, further facilitating innovation. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the United States, currently 83% of tech executives are white. 20% of women are in executive leadership positions, and only 8.35% of employees are African-American. It doesn’t reflect what our community looks like.
Over the last decade, there has been growing concern that US workers are less prepared for their technology careers than workers in other countries. We have focused on keeping up with diversity, not improving it. But the good news is just around the corner. Minority enrollment in graduate programs in science and engineering increased by 35%.
The United States is slowly making steady progress due to its technical workforce and its diversity, but there is more to do. The number of women in the tech industry continues to grow, but salaries are still stagnant. A STEM salary survey found that women earn up to 25% less than men.
Being more comprehensive is a positive effort and needs to be an urgent effort.
Who is leading the way?
Large companies can have the greatest impact based on the number of employees. Many of these mega enterprises are strengthening their action plans to address the issues of corporate inclusiveness and diversity. Microsoft is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, investing $ 150 million in D & I and doubling the number of African-American managers, senior-level leaders and individual contributors by 2025. I promise to do it.
But it’s not just big companies. SMEs can have an impact. By being more involved in our community, leaders can be hired more comprehensively. As a female executive, I am often asked to speak at events for women. There is an opportunity to hire. I am also asked to speak for the status of an immigrant business owner-there is another opportunity. Executives have many opportunities to be more inclusive.
One way to increase your DE & I initiative is to participate in or create a program like “Leading Allies Of …”, a movement focused on promoting D & I. The first annual conference “Leading Allies Of … Data Centers & The Cloud” was held in November 2021. The theme was “De-Mystifying DE & I: Diversity In Our Digital Infrastructure”.
The speaker expressed concern that the lack of diversity in the industry would hinder its growth and innovation.
One of the DE & I programs focused on women in the technology industry is the Women’s Initiative (WINGS) in the growth and success of networking. This program was created by Altimetrik, a digital business support company, to increase the number of women in the STEM field. The program has so far been responsible for over 550 new hires. WINGS is in many ways paired with one of the other programs, Rebound-Back to Work, to bring women who have left their careers back to the employment market.
Returning women to the workforce is also a great diversity initiative for qBotica, an automation provider as a service. They created Reboot. This reaches out to moms who are particularly interested in technology. Their accelerated three-month boot camp is designed to give mothers the advantages they need to restart their careers.
Within five years, by paying a great deal of attention to the tech industry and stepping up efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion, more diverse and more representative, mostly white and mostly male executives. You should see a significant transition to the tech community. This change has become a new common sense, and as a result, the pace of innovation can be expected to continue accelerating.
The opinions expressed by Inc.com columnists here are their own, not Inc.com’s.
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