Join Aubrey Blanche for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating Change: Diversity and Inclusion in the Tech Industry, part of Creating Change: Diversity and Inclusion in the Tech Industry.
(upbeat pulsing music) - [Narrator] The technology industry has led our world into the 21st century with incredible innovations and breakthroughs, but it hasn't been able to make nearly as much progress towards increasing diversity and inclusion. As an industry, we aim to create opportunities for everyone no matter their ethnicity, creed, ability, color, religion, socioeconomic status, origin, gender, or sexual orientation.
But looking forward, we still have a long way to go. The data, or lack of data, tells us we're not doing enough and clearly missing the mark in ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and feel a sense of belonging. It's as much a human issue as it is a business issue, with diversity of thought and experience being crucial to creativity, ingenuity, and innovation.
- The first thing I usually recommend to people who want to get involved with diversity and inclusion is to develop a deeper understanding of the issues. - Thinking about diversity as the outcome of your culture and asking questions about the way that people are interacting everyday. So questions like who is listened to, who speaks in meetings, who's interrupted. - I feel that the people at the top of the hierarchy should give some real power to the people at the bottom to do what needs to be done.
And in that case then, to allow people at the grass roots of a company to take a look at existing problems, to talk to each other, and then to do what needs to be done. - The biggest reasons diversity and inclusion is important is because you can't have one subset of folks creating all the tools as the tech field continues to grow. The diversity of ideas and the things that these girls will create and work on is vitally important.
- I think it's easy to focus on recruitment because it feels so actionable and you can see progress very quickly. So if you make hires in the next few months that are more diverse, you can see that reflected immediately in your goals. For things like retention and promotion, those happen over longer time periods and so it's harder to see immediate progress. - The idea would be open discussion of measures to allow people to get ahead who might never get a break. To raise the issues of people who might feel threatened by this kind of thing.
- The issues around getting by and don't actually come from other people are pro or anti diversity, but they need to understand why because any diversity inclusion program that's just driven from HR instead of inspiring the best out of your employees is eventually going to fail, and that's because your head of diversity and inclusion should be an enabler, not a doer. - I think one of the ways that companies can transition from just a conversation of diversity, really implementing inclusion in their companies is really addressing culture.
So I think culture is at the heart of it. - Without metrics, there's no baseline of understanding where we are, there's also no way of understanding if we're improving and so we think it's very important that companies and teams, organizations, are setting out these metrics and targets and measuring themselves against those. - Sometimes you got to focus in on an area like women in tech because I'm in the tech industry, so I should stand up for people in my industry.
- Have a really great understanding of your own advantages. What parts of your life help you belong or feel included? Then think about how you can deploy those advantages for others. - I think people look at being an activist as something that others do and they end up well, I think everyone can be an activist, right? It's not about stepping outside of your comfort zone as much as like seeing a problem and deciding that you're going to do something, you're going to take the first step to be the change that you want to create.
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Learn about four individuals—including Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant—who are leading diversity and inclusion efforts at a variety of levels: developing formalized processes within an organization, serving as a diversity advocate and activist, becoming a vocal ally, and forming an organization to help inspire young girls to pursue a career in tech. Each of these professionals go beyond merely calling attention to the issue of diversity in the tech industry; they share actionable takeaways, and empower viewers to understand that every member of the tech industry—whether they're an employee, manager, leader, or philanthropist—has the ability to affect change.