Diversity in the tech field

May 1, 2015

Diversity in the tech field

Just about any human resources manager will tell you that diversity is an important part of an office culture. It can provide employees with a wide range of personalities, backgrounds, perspectives and opinions that can fuel creativity and a willingness to try new things. Diversity in the office also speaks to the company’s mission as a whole – is the enterprise focused on just a narrow group of people, or any kind of person regardless of their origin?

A great number of business leaders in the tech sector understand the value of this factor. However, almost any statistic you can dig up indicates that there is still plenty of room for improvement in the industry. To counter the general lack of diversity in the tech field, business leaders and forward-thinking organizations are establishing initiatives and funds to help the sector move forward. True progress takes hard work and plenty of effort, but with the leadership of certain tech professionals, the ball is rolling.

Apple establishes diversity fund, creates training programs
Fortune reported that Apple has committed $50 million for a fund that seeks to bring more women, minorities and veterans into a sustainable profession in tech. The contribution is paired with plans for training initiatives and internships. The company has partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit group that works closely with historically black colleges and universities.

“Historically, other organizations have provided scholarship dollars or focused on whatever area matters most to them,” Johnny Taylor, the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, told the news outlet. “What differentiates this partnership with Apple is that it hits on everything that we do – it is the most comprehensive program ever offered to an HBCU organization.”

A project for promoting black women in tech
Project Diane is a new platform that aims to identify some of the leading black women in the tech sector and raise awareness of their accomplishments, according Fast Company.

“The most challenging part is that we’re finding that many well-meaning companies and individuals are focusing more on optics than outcomes when it comes to diversity,” Finney told the news outlet. “As a result, there’s a ton of events, summits, conferences, and coding classes, but not much movement in terms of structured programs with proven metrics.”

While tech enterprises will understandably continue to hire the most qualified job candidate, employers can still do their part. Diversity shouldn’t just be a bonus – it should be a necessity.