Happy New Year!
Time to make resolutions for a new year!
Like individuals, some tech companies & corporations have made a worthy resolution to increase diversity amongst their workers.
Here are 4 tips to help efforts of increasing diversity in the workplace, as well as in the tech industry itself:
Professional, Informal Networking (PIN) events, such as "lighting talks," conferences, hackathons, etc., are great ways to network, collaborate, and gain skills… if you can get into one! Unfortunately, information about these events aren’t targeted to women and minorities.
This is a problem. For example, PIN events are usually spread via word-of-mouth. In a predominately male industry, women aren’t privy to the same networks and information available to their male counterparts. By the time word of a PIN event reaches most women, the attendees’ list is closed and no further attendees are allowed to sign-up.
The result is a lack of diversity at PIN events, a lack of opportunity to network, and opportunities to talk with tech professionals.
The solution: Aim to announce PIN events to groups dedicated to increasing diversity in the workplace.
Photo credit: Irishtimes.com
A lack of diversity in the workplace may stem from being unfamiliar with the tech profession. Ask a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You’ll get a response, such as, “A Doctor" or “A Lawyer." What about becoming a Software Engineer? UX Researcher? Information Architect? How can you know… if you’ve never met a Software Engineer, UX Researcher, or an Information Architect? The solution: Expose children to technical careers! Encourage field trips from local schools, especially schools in poor socio-economic districts. Introduce a child to a career in tech …might just change the lives of generations to come!
Women Who Code is just one of the many groups seeking to dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technical careers. Groups aimed at diversifying the workplace are not just for beginners.
So, reach out to these groups. Host a Women Who Code event! Go to www.womenwhocode.com or contact an Event Leader directly on our Meetup page!
And, if you do host, then encourage other engineers, VP’s, and non-technical staff to stay and meet the attendees. There’s always someone looking for a position… junior/advanced, technical/non-technical.
Similar to Tip #3, tech companies can host events that offer FREE 8-hour class aimed at encouraging minorities and women to learn to code. Organizations, such as Bridge Troll, are always in need of corporate sponsors AND volunteers.
These classes aren’t just for beginners. Attendees range from Beginner to Advance. The classes are taught by volunteers. Some volunteers are employed, but others are looking to gain employment. It’s a great way to source potential candidates, encourage diversity, and give back to your local community.
If your company wants to engage in philanthropic events, then sponsoring or hosting any “Learn-to-Code” event would be a great way to start. Also, hosting companies may want to encourage their employees to volunteer at the event.
Try one tip or commit to try all four! Any of these tips will be sure to encourage diversity in the workplace.
Happy New Year!