The technology industry is a business that excels at solving complex software, data management, and infrastructure problems. How can solution providers, vendors, and distributors today solve the workforce challenge of greater diversity and equity and inclusion (DEI). The technology industry is a business that excels at solving complex software, data management and infrastructure problems. How can today’s solution providers, distributors, and vendors solve the workforce challenge of greater diversity and equity and inclusion (DEI),
Tracy Pound, founder, managing director, MaximITy Limited, and presenter at CompTIA’s upcoming Achieving Diversity & Inclusion Global Event on Thursday October 28, shared her insights as a consultant in the industry.
When evaluating staff demographics, don’t forget to look at internal culture
Many channel organizations begin their journey to achieving workforce DEI by assessing current staff demographics. This includes identifying areas of underrepresentation. This could include race, ethnicity and gender, age, veteran status, and/or disability status.
Pound encouraged solution providers, vendors, and distributors to examine their internal culture. “If you look at my end user clients, those who bring DEI to life have had more success. They actively seek to change their culture.” They discuss it, create policies to support DEI, allocate budget to initiatives that demonstrate to staff that they are interested in promoting equity and diversity, as well as creating policies to support it.
All communications should use inclusive language
To reflect the company’s commitment of providing a welcoming workplace, all communications, internal and external, should use inclusive language. Here are some tips for writing inclusively:
Use a non-gender-specific pronoun such as you instead of he/she
Avoid unnecessary jargon
Eliminating gender-coded words in job descriptions
Avoid racist programming terms such as master, slave, blacklist, and whitelist.
Pound stated, “Understand how you communicate with diverse groups and ensure that communications, both internal and external, reflect the greatest diversity possible.”
To recruit talent from underrepresented groups, connect with local organizations
Pound often hears from IT companies that it is difficult for them to hire diversity because they don’t have a diverse applicant pool.
Pound stated that it is important to “forge relationships” with organizations that support underrepresented and underserved individuals in order to recruit a broad range of talent. Local organizations could include local colleges, nonprofits, networking groups, and trade associations that serve underrepresented communities.
Provide ongoing training to disengage unconscious bias
Unconscious biases, which are biases about a person/group of people that unconsciously influence our understanding, decision-making and actions, are pervasive in the workplace. They can hinder a company’s ability attract and retain diverse talent.
Pound advised channel organizations to employ training experts to develop awareness and disrupt unconscious bias. “Bring people into the company to talk with staff about bias, their experiences, what to avoid, and how to promote equity, inclusion, and equity.” Do it often, not as a one-off event.
A multipronged approach is required to eliminate unconscious bias in talent recruitment
Removing identifying information such as names, home addresses, and dates from resumes received
Ask all candidates the exact same questions
Interview candidates with different people
Encourage Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
Distributors, vendors, and providers can encourage workplace inclusion by encouraging the formation of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are employee-driven groups that provide mentoring, networking, and business development opportunities to underrepresented groups within a company.
Pound suggested that channel organizations “build an environment around celebrating differences and how this brings vibrancy to your business.” Get started on your DEI plan using CompTIA’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan for SMBs.
Register Now to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion: Global Perspective
Register now for the Advancing Technology Talent and Diversity Community for Achieving Diversity and Inclusion: A World Perspective on October 28th at 10 a.m. Central Time. To learn more about how your organization can implement DEI, Register now.