Diverse by Design
In a federal EEOC study of 75 Silicon Valley companies, just 2.2% of professional-level workers were African American and 4.4% were Hispanic. Women are profoundly underrepresented as well: the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) estimates that just 25% of the technology workforce is female, and in some surveys, women occupy an even smaller percentage of actual technical roles. These statistics are all the more troubling given the ongoing shortage of skilled technology workers in the U.S.
In 2016, Per Scholas, one of the largest nonprofit IT workforce development organizations in the U.S., launched Diverse by Design in partnership with the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, the nation’s association of African American senior technology executives. The campaign’s goal is to discover and unleash a wealth of new ideas and best practices that companies are using today to increase tech workforce diversity and inclusion.
The industry-led campaign has convened 1,000+ leaders from 400+ companies in six well-attended conversations across the U.S. Its chief sponsors include Google, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T, BNY Mellon, Barclays, Bank of America, Capital One, TEKsystems, and CompTIA. The most recent event (October 2018) in Dallas focused specifically on increasing tech workforce diversity and inclusion for women.
The Diverse by Design national working group, led by executives from Barclays, Blue Sky Consulting, BNY Mellon, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, Diversant, Farm Credit Financial Partners, Fractal Industries, INROADS, JPMorgan Chase and PSEG Foundation, guides the campaign’s strategic direction. As the campaign grows, Diverse by Design will highlight the most promising innovations and best practices that participants have implemented. Examples include a women’s technical training initiative to increase diversity in managerial tech roles at a major financial institution, and a national training initiative by a major tech company to foster a more diverse talent pipeline.
We can’t achieve a greater level of diversity and inclusion in the workplace by working in silos, as we’ve done for so many years. By working collectively to spark relationships, build partnerships and engage colleagues across industries and sectors, the workplace will begin to reflect and celebrate the beautiful diversity that makes up our communities across the United States.