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Diversity in IT: Where We Are and How We Got Here: Page 4 of 4

The tech industry today is overwhelmingly white and male. Understanding why is where changing that fact begins. By Rich Freeman
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HIGH-TECH IS AN OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE, male industry, both in absolute terms and in comparison with the private sector overall.
UNCONSCIOUSLY BIASED HIRING PROCESSES and cultures unwelcoming to women and people of color both contribute to the problem.
SO DOES A SHORTAGE OF WOMEN and people of color in the job candidate pipeline with technical training and career interests.

More Yet to Do

Thanks to groups like TechGirlz and NPower, plus mounting pressure from activists and others, the IT industry is slowly making progress on diversity. According to CompTIA’s data, for example, 60% of high-tech businesses have an initiative aimed at recruiting and retaining diverse employees, and another 15% plan to add one. Sixty-nine percent either offer or plan to offer “safe spaces” for employees to discuss diversity issues, moreover, while 65% sponsor or participate in diversity events or say they’ll do so in the future.

Yet much more remains to be done, according to Mitchell, who encourages channel pros eager to chip in but unsure of where to start to try collaborating on diversity efforts with peers. “Why does your one company have to figure it out on its own?” she asks.

Cliett, for her part, suggests volunteering with pipeline-filling ventures likes TechGirlz—and calling out choices and behavior that discourage diversity wherever you see them.

“I would say to everybody to work at their comfort level, but don’t expect change if you’re not willing to speak up,” she says. “It’s not comfortable to speak up, but if you’re silent, there’s nothing anybody can do, because nobody is going to know what’s going on.”

Resources

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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