Accelerate Community: Systemic Investments in Equity, Talent, and Tech
Many CECP companies are addressing equity, talent, and tech through both their workforce recruitment and retention strategies, and through external philanthropic investments. The good intentions of our collective efforts in this space are often undone, as one of our of colleagues put it, “by random acts of STEM”. The focus of this Community is to closely examine the STEM ecosystem in which corporate efforts are taking place and develop a strategy for greater collective and individual impact.
In May 2017, CECP launched an Accelerate Community, or focused learning group of companies, concentrated on Systemic Investments in Equity, Talent, and Tech. Partnering with workforce, STEM, and policy analysis expert Dr. Kamau Bobb, who is Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing, Georgia Tech, CECP attracted a dozen committed companies to this Community. The companies meet quarterly and participate in quarterly office hours calls with CECP and Kamau. The meetings advance in specificity, beginning with a deeper dive of landscape of the STEM ecosystem in which corporate efforts are taking place; followed by an investigation of the categories of activity and philosophy for involvement, laying out the steps, tensions, and barriers to success; and leading to a collaborative phase of implementation practice, building a spectrum for collective impact.
Companies participating in this community are collaboratively working to incorporate an equity lens into their talent pipeline and STEM programs, and uncovering opportunities for partnership to develop a spectrum of opportunities leading from exposure to rigorous learning and career pathways. The impact of this experience has the potential to be transformational to the perspective and strategies of the companies that have committed to this focused Community, as well as to CECP’s larger coalition of more than 200 companies, who will have the opportunity to learn from insights shared by Kamau and companies in this Community at the CECP Summit in May 2018.
CECP’s Giving in Numbers report finds that corporate investments in STEM are on the rise (31.5% of companies reporting STEM as a priority focus area in 2016), driven by the importance of technology skills to their current and future talent pipelines. CECP’s Accelerate Community focused on Systemic Investments in Equity, Talent, and Tech provides the opportunity for a dedicated group of leading companies to examine how to amplify the impact of their social investments in tech by layering on a lens of systemic equity, ensuring that programs are tied to rigorous paths to learning and viable career pathways, and that individuals brought into the company through those programs will be supported by inclusive cultures and opportunities for continued advancement.