Practice Next (or First) Steps
Although the DEI conversation has been brought to the fore by recent events, Carnegie sees a channel that’s slow to respond. An industry veteran, he says he finds a lot of small companies are spending little effort on talent development outside of their norm. They avoid potential candidates who don’t have specific, familiar backgrounds or experience. By doing so, they’re closing themselves off from people who could enhance the business in new ways.
“Small vendors are still out there chasing the business from people they know, their peer group, people they’re familiar with,” says Carnegie, who adds that those in hiring positions often make assumptions that diverse candidates lack business knowledge or require more training than others. As a result, SMBs are often fishing in too-small ponds for the people they need.
Carnegie suggests any SMB who cares about DEI should start contributing toward a diverse ecosystem overall, even if it doesn’t result in immediate payoffs.
“We want to create a business that will continue to pay us when we’re done,” he says, or remain profitable after owners step back from the day-to-day. “So, if we’re in it for the long payout, we need to spend some time getting a younger group of people trained and working in IT.” He suggests becoming involved in the local community and universities to bring a greater range of backgrounds, cultures, and races into your network.
The CompTIA study didn’t cover financial motivations for taking action on DEI, but 41% of respondents said they were definitely or probably considering actions to increase diversity and inclusion at their organizations. When they do, the evidence suggests, they’re poised to reap a whole host of benefits.
- CompTIA, Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community - A collaborative group working to develop an inclusive workforce culture capable of filling the pipeline for today’s and tomorrow’s technology careers. comptia.org/membership/communities-and-councils/advancing-tech-talent-and-diversity-community
- Indeed - The hiring platform offers five benefits of workplace diversity for employers to consider channelpronetwork.com/Zqe
- Women of Security (WoSEC) - A community for women, including LGBTQ+ women, non-binary, trans, and gender nonconforming, who have an interest in cybersecurity. WoSEC chapters meet both virtually and in person in cities around the globe. Activities range from talks to workshops to brunches and other social gatherings. womenofsecurity.com
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