Interview with Diverse Voices on Diversity in Tech
We’ve all seen it, but what does diversity and inclusion mean? “Diversity is a combination of the diverse backgrounds, experiences, cultures and perspectives. Diversity & Inclusion means having a multifaceted workforce that includes people of different genders, races, ethnicities and ages.” What are some signs to tell if someone is in an inclusive environment? “A good indicator of an inclusive environment is when you hear people of different backgrounds, genders, ages and experience levels sharing their thoughts and experiences.” One thing that helps make a place diverse is to have people of different experiences in positions of leadership. What are some things you can do to increase diversity and inclusion? The interviewees all had the same answer; encourage women, people of color, LGBTQ and other minority groups. Most of the people we interviewed were not working in their field when they came out and were worried about being outed in their careers. Still, most of the interviewees said their attitudes towards diversity shifted after they came out to co-workers and family. They realized that they deserved to be heard and they helped others realize that too. “As leaders it’s our job to create an environment where everyone is included. That creates a culture that attracts the best talent.”
How to Increase your Diversity from Above
A good indicator of an inclusive environment is when you hear people of different backgrounds, genders, ages and experience levels sharing their thoughts and experiences. This is a powerful way to increase diversity and inclusion, not just in the workplace but in society overall.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency to chalk up every negative and hurtful comment directed toward a person of color or a woman with the phrase “shut up and listen”. While an example of problematic behavior in itself, this phrase does not have the intended impact if it is not coupled with real efforts at inclusion.
People who belong to marginalized groups often do not have the same privileges as others in their tribe. As such, based on our experiences, we are best able to identify when we are being marginalized. Further, we often have the best ideas on how to correct these issues, which is why it is important for all parties to listen to each other and move forward together.
Below are some tips for promoting an environment of inclusion at work, school and in your social circles: