Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been a growing topic in corporate America, particularly in the tech sector. It doesn’t take much research to find staggering statistics about how little diversity exists in the workforce. Fortunately, the conversation around the importance of DEI and finding meaningful ways to make change has just begun.
In the last few months, Udacity has hosted two webinars focused on discussing different DEI topics. The OneTen Panel Discussion — involving Maurice Jones, the CEO of OneTen, Willa Seldon Parter, from the Bridgespan Group, and Gabe Dalporto, the CEO of Udacity — covered the ways in which companies can facilitate change for Black people in tech. The STEM Forward with Women webinar series with Åshild Hanne Larsen, the VP of Subsurface Excellence & Digital at Equinor, covered ways to help women begin and advanced their careers in tech.
Keep reading for the top DEI takeaways from the OneTen and Equinor webinars.
The Key to a Diverse Workforce is Providing Opportunities
Sometimes, the lack of diversity in the workforce comes from the fact that many people are simply not given opportunities to gain skills that others get. This could be a lack of a college degree, continuing education, or simply an absence of on-the-job training. When companies are willing to help provide opportunities, both in and outside of the workplace, a more diverse workforce is enabled.
Equinor focuses its efforts on providing on-the-job upskilling through its digital academy, to help provide opportunities for advancement within the company. “It starts with ensuring, as a responsible employer, that you give everyone in your workforce the opportunity to develop these critical technology and digital skills,” says Åshild Hanne Larsen.
At OneTen, meaningful change is done by providing opportunities for people outside of a specific company. “We’ve got a systemic barrier to Black Talent earning their way into the middle-class, earning their way into a family-sustaining job and career,” says Maurice Jones.
OneTen’s main goal is to hire and advance 1 million Black people without college degrees into family-sustaining careers in the next ten years. This goal involves not only helping this specific portion of the population gain the skills they need to be attractive candidates, but also working with companies to develop that talent and hire from within those programs.
Meaningful Change Must Start With the Narrative
While women earn over 50% of STEM degrees in college, they hold less than 25% of computing jobs in the United States. There are many factors that go into this statistic, but one key part of it is that there is a narrative that can scare people away from working in tech, particularly women.
“Technology,” says Åshild Hanne Larsen, “is really for everyone and at the heart of it, technology is about solving problems together in teams and trying to innovate.” Overall, there will be a huge positive impact for DEI if most people view tech as a welcoming place for everyone that centers on teamwork and being a force of good for the world.
Watch the Equinor and OneTen Webinars
If these takeaways got you excited about the future of DEI and the ways that Udacity is partnering with organizations to further these causes, check out the full-length webinars to learn more.
Learn More About Udacity for Enterprise
Interested in finding out more about how you can help get your workforce the tech skills they need to thrive, check out Udacity’s Enterprise offerings.