Why 2020 is a Crucial Year for Tech Diversity

Four years ago, we at TMC launched the 2017 Tech Diversity Awards and we are proud to have given the recognition to Aeris, Full Circle Insights and Vodafone.

Our goal was to give much-needed recognition to companies looking to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Frankly, although there has been an incremental improvement, tech companies have not become much more diverse over the years.

According to CNBC, Six years after their first diversity reports, Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter have seen low single-digit increases in their percentage of Black employees. Facebook has gone from 3% to just 3.8% black workers during this period.

With the national spotlight on the disparities between African Americans and whites and tech being an incredibly well-paying industry, hiring more African Americans in the workplace as well as women and other minorities will help reduce such disparities.

In addition, studies have shown, more diverse companies produce 19% more revenue!

This sentiment was echoed by award winners.

According to Vodafone’s 2017 application:

We believe that diversity plays an important role in the success of our business and is the right thing to do. Our diversity and inclusion strategy outlines our ambition to be a company that empowers all diverse employees to be at their best. Improving diversity and enhancing inclusion across the business has been an ongoing priority for the last five years and there is a genuine will and commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture across Vodafone.

The 2017 Aeris application said the following:

Aeris personnel represent multiple nationalities and religions. Our board is quite diverse, with women, people of color, with no signs of ageism. Aeris is proud of the fact that women hold many leadership positions, including Chief of Staff, VP of Marketing, Head of Talent, VP Strategy, multiple engineers, VP of Automotive Strategy, General Council, and numerous department heads.

In addition, there is a groundswell of corporations donating money to try to improve things. Here are some of the companies doing their part to fight inequality:

  • Activision Blizzard will donate up to $4 million
  • Airbnb: $500,000
  • Alphabet: $193 million (donations, funding, matching, loans).
  • Amazon: $10 million
  • Apple: $100 million
  • Bad Robot: $10 million over five years
  • Cisco: $5 million
  • DoorDash: $1 million
  • Facebook: $10 million
  • Intel: $1 million
  • Microsoft: $1.5 million
  • Shopify: $1 million
  • Softbank: New $100M Opportunity Fund will invest only in companies led by people of color
  • TikTok: $4 million
  • Uber: $1 million

Many more organizations are donating to related causes and making internal changes as well. Google is going to increase leadership of underrepresented groups to 30% by 2025.

Defense secretary Mark Esper announced a review that aims to increase racial equity and diversity in the US military (see video below).

We support these initiatives as well as skills-training, on-the-job-training, support of inner-city education, apprenticeship programs and more.

We have the opportunity to continue this momentum to drastically increase our industry’s hiring of minority candidates.

There are even more benefits to embarking on such initiatives – increased management diversity results in greater employee productivity. In fact, a 1% increase in racial diversity in management increased a tech firm’s productivity by $729 per employee and a Fortune 500 firm’s productivity by $1,590 per employee.

If your organization is involved in similar activities and is looking for independent recognition… If you think your organization should be recognized for going above and beyond to ensure a diverse workforce is hired and working together productively, we invite you to apply to the 2020 Tech Diversity Awards.


 

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