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.”
- Diversity in High Tech—A report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission eeoc.gov/special-report/diversity-high-tech
- Diversity in the High-Tech Industry—A research study from IT membership organization CompTIA comptia.org/content/research/diversity-in-the-high-tech-industry
- NPower—A training provider that helps military veterans and young adults from underserved communities join the technology workforce npower.org/
- TechGirlz—A CompTIA program that seeks to get middle school girls interested in technology and technology careers techgirlz.org/