The tech industry is one of the fastest growing and most innovative sectors in the world. Despite being the forefront for change and growth, the telecom and tech industry, as many others, have struggled in the past to become a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Black people and other minorities have been historically underrepresented, but in recent years that has changed in the tech industry in a great way.
There have been many that pave the way and many in modern day who continue to be a face and voice of change ushering in a new era for minorities of all colors in all industries. Speaking for inclusion and lifting voices that were not always listened to or respected. These new people are stepping into powerful roles and being role models themselves for what should be done when given the spotlight instead of straying away and continuing to let prejudice win.
Some of those voices include:
Erica Baker – Erica Baker is a Senior Engineering Manager at Microsoft and a diversity and inclusion advocate. She is a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events and is passionate about creating a more inclusive tech industry.
Van Jones – Van Jones is a CNN commentator, best-selling author, and co-founder of the Rebuild the Dream movement. He is also the CEO of the Dream Corps, a social justice accelerator that works to create a more equitable and inclusive future.
Mayka Rosales-Peterson– Mayka Rosales- Peterson is Senior Manager, Partner Marketing at Intelisys, an Alliance of Channel Women Alliance board member, and a member of the Board of Directors Board of Directors Xposure Inclusion & Diversity Council. She also works on the Board of Diversity Equity and Inclusion for Channel Futures and was recently listed as one of the most 100 most influential Women in the Channel.
Arlan Hamilton – Arlan Hamilton is the founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm focused on investing in underrepresented founders. She is a pioneer in the tech industry and a powerful voice for diversity and inclusion.
These black leaders are not only leaders in their industries but in ways of inclusion and diversity. Incorporating difference and diversity into the work place is so important to the future success of black people and all minorities within any industry. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace can produce better decision making, increased innovation, improved employee engagement and enhance your companies overall reputation. It is important to remember for companies to be inclusive as the ideas of Black people could be the new realities of tomorrow. Coming together for the better of all humans and collaborating on our future as a whole.
Some tips for nurturing inclusion and diversity in the workplace:
- Be proactive: Don’t wait for diverse candidates to come to you. Reach out to underrepresented communities, attend diversity and inclusion events, and partner with organizations that support diversity in tech.
- Review your job postings: Ensure that your job postings are inclusive and welcoming to all. Avoid language that may be biased or exclusive, and consider using gender-neutral language.
- Assess your hiring process: Ensure that your hiring process is fair and impartial. Consider using objective criteria, such as skills tests, to assess candidates, rather than relying on subjective factors, such as interviews.
- Invest in diversity and inclusion training: Ensure that your employees are equipped to work in a diverse and inclusive environment. Offer diversity and inclusion training to all employees, including managers and leaders.
Celebrating and lifting up Black leaders is important today and will continue to be essential in the growth and productivity in tomorrows tech industry.