When I sent out the email on Tuesday reminding people that our next diversity in tech event is happening next week an African American member of our community sent me a short but meaningful reply. He wrote “Diversity in tech is a damn joke. Why waste time and resources on this topic?”
His reply hit me on multiple levels. I understand how that phrase is a joke considering how low diversity (age, race and gender) levels are at most tech companies.
At the same time, the reason we focus on it is that we believe it should be the norm and will eventually get there. Maybe not quickly, but we have to start where we are to generate change.
Now that studies continue to show that more diversity increases profitability more companies are actively working on building more diverse work places. Doing the right thing should have been enough, but it’s getting better now since awareness has risen around the detriments of unconscious biases and the benefits of inclusive cultures.
Our diversity in tech events celebrate and share people, organizations and programs that are working so that attendees can learn how to build inclusion at their companies. Seattle is very lucky to have a foundation of organizations like Technology Access Foundation, Greater Foundation, YearUp, Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, HERE Seattle, Ada Developers Academy, Kal Academy, Unloop, SM Diversity and others greasing the wheels for positive change.
We’ve stepped up our actions behind this effort by partnering with Diverse City to deliver diversity and inclusion consulting and training. If this interests you, check out our consulting page to discover more ways to benefit from creating a more inclusive culture at your company.
The bottom line is that we passionately believe in diversity, being human, being helpful and having fun together as core values. This drives how and what we do as a company and in the experience you’ll have at over 40 events a year that we produce for you.
Unfortunately, diversity in tech is a joke at many companies. Fortunately, every day that we call it out and build new inclusive paths and programs, the joke becomes more of driver towards a more inclusive and profitable today and tomorrow.