Don’t think of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as reconstituted affirmative action and women’s lib. Yes, DEI involves racial and gender considerations in hiring and promotion. Yet, DEI goes so much further. It’s about the enterprise challenge — and opportunity — of making a workforce and a corporate strategy better reflect and serve the varied constituencies of a large population.
So, what are some of those elements beyond hiring and advancement of minority and women employees? As you’ve heard, some AI algorithms don’t work well when it comes to Blacks and women. DEI also considers issues faced by the disabled, people of non-binary gender, and the poor or unbanked who may not have ready access to the Internet. Even those with great online access — remote workers — may face issues when it comes to management and advancement.
Enterprise DEI also extends far beyond employment. Companies are looking at who can or can’t access or utilize their products and services, where they raise language barriers, or when their offerings are subtly or blatantly racist or sexist.
The InformationWeek articles below are just a sampling of those discussing some of the issues and improvements DEI is addressing, often with minimal effort.
Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter
With its focus on continuous innovation, the tech industry is perfectly positioned to advance real change — if it’s willing to embrace it. But, it’s not just about hiring. Tech companies must take an active role in ensuring minority leaders succeed.
Demo day hosted by FinTech Sandbox revisited the need for greater diversity among financial industry leaders and the focus of regulators on transparency. Beyond hiring, diversity and inclusion extend to considerations such as product design.
Recent initiatives by the US government, the computer industry and educational institutions promise to address the talent shortage in cybersecurity, increase the level of diversity in the field, and raise the general awareness of security within all of IT.
Data Science For All offers free education, and mentorship, plus hiring at partner companies like Accenture and Target. Here’s what its founders say about diversity today. It’s an attempt to break out of a pattern when companies talk about diversity but then do too little to achieve it.
The C-suite has expanded, but will the trend continue? Likely yes, but how depends on what your company values most. New executive titles are emerging from efforts to better reflect changes in the workforce, skillsets and responsibilities.
Data can help enterprise leaders power financial, social, and environmental change. Accepting social responsibility also can provide employers with a workforce that better mirrors the population at large.
Environmental, social, and governance reporting is growing in importance. Two big tech vendors recently announced new ESG solutions. Inclusiveness and equity are planks in ESG strategies.
Advice from Your Peers
There exists an incorrect assumption that diversity and inclusion are synonymous. How can companies keep their DEI programs in balance?
With the great resignation, not requiring a college degree removes a barrier of entry and broadens your talent pool.
Language matters. Used in the right way, language can promote inclusion, but when used inappropriately it can create division, hurt people, and exacerbate exclusion.
Cloud services provider increases backing for group aimed at further shrinking the gender gap in the technology workforce. AWS will back Girls in Tech’s annual conference and other initiatives, including a re-launched virtual mentorship program and the Amplify startup pitch competition.
Nonprofit DevOps academy takes an educational approach to open up career opportunities for the underserved as well as address ongoing demand for IT personnel.
Training a broader, more inclusive hiring pool in digital security skills may boost career opportunities and address shortages for in-demand talent.
Improving the inclusiveness of tech careers can start with education access for a broader demographic. One starting point can be scholarships that create more pathways for a broader spectrum of people to develop in-demand tech skills that enterprises want.
The Customer Side of Inclusion
Digital currency, startups, and other fintech resources could create more banking and lending opportunities for minorities.
Dan Schulman shared his perspectives on going beyond financial inclusivity and boosting financial health through technology. Developing innovation in fintech that can benefit the broader masses rather than select segments of the population may require concerted consideration.
Cutting Through Racial Bias
Unconscious biases will be reflected in the data that feeds your AI and ML algorithms. Here are three simple actions to dismantle unconscious bias in AI.
Gender in the Workplace
The founder of Deloitte’s women in data science and analytics group on importance of inclusion in technology. One key to finding talented women may be to rework job descriptions in postings.
A panel at the Axway Summit Americas discussed elements that may help improve gender parity in the technology scene. Though there have been some gains in increasing representation and career opportunities for women in tech, there continues to be room for improvement.
Leaders have a responsibility to keep women in tech and help cultivate their career growth. Here are a few measurable actions that can help.
Despite ongoing efforts to further diversify who fills the ranks of tech jobs, seeing real results is taking a protracted amount of time. The slow advancement toward true career parity shows a need for persistence when championing diversity.
Remote/Hybrid Workers Left in the Cold
The proliferation of hybrid and remote workforces can leave some employees feeling excluded from career opportunities or access to senior leaders. A strategy to foster inclusion involves a multitude of stakeholders.
The shift to remote work has raised management issues that can be resolved with carefully planned communication and automation strategies — but the personal touch is a critical element.
Here’s a look at the role several teams in a business must play in designing hybrid work practices. There are two primary opportunities in designing hybrid work models.
How does your salary stack up to what other IT pros are earning? How does what you are paying your top talent compare to the offers they are likely to get out there in the job market? What else do your employees appreciate about their jobs?