Diversity In Entrepreneurship: The Emerging Face Of Tech

Diversity In Entrepreneurship: The Emerging Face Of Tech

As Silicon Valley continues to complain about a talent shortage, organizations are working hard to attract diverse talent. Laura Weidman Powers, CEO of CODE 2040, and Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund, actively search for talent in underrepresented populations. As firm believers that diversity is not a luxury but a necessity in the tech space, Powers and Taylor advocate for finding, retaining, and promoting talent from communities that have been overlooked for years.

A Difficult Challenge
Reaching out and attracting diverse talent is an ongoing challenge throughout the tech world. Not only do Powers and Taylor realize this, but many business owners do, as well. Powers believes that by acknowledging it, the tech community can begin working together to enact change. Powers believes people feel uncomfortable beginning a dialogue about the issue in part due to the shame connected with not being able to solve the problem.

“For a lot of companies who have achieved success without achieving diversity, there’s a little bit of a feeling of, ‘If we’ve come so far without figuring this out, how important can it really be?’” Powers says.

“What we also talk about at Code 2040 is the idea of the year 2040, when people of color will be the majority in the U.S. and the fact that, as we go toward that year, population growth is coming from minority communities. If you intend to have your company grow and thrive and stick around, you actually have to figure out how to attract and hire and retain diverse talent.”

Creating a Culture of Inclusion

Bringing diversity into the workplace is fairly simple, Taylor believes. It’s simply a matter of going out and finding people, then bringing them into the work environment. Keeping those people around is a much more complex issue, since workers will not remain in a workplace if they feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. With retention being such an important issue in startups, Taylor believes it’s essential to make everyone feel included in an organization.

“Too often, the focus is, you get the talent in the house and then you don’t make them feel comfortable there and therefore you can’t retain them,” Taylor says. “In all of our conversation, we need to talk about diversity and inclusion if we want to be successful in this space.”


No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.