Last week I wrote an article where I mentioned we need more color in tech leadership roles. This was the second of a series of articles I am writing on the topic of diversity. I received a lot of praise for the article but also some unexpected reactions to it, like the example below:
The purpose of that article wasn’t to force or pressure anyone into doing anything they don’t want, obviously.
Oh and by the way, here is the definition of people of color in case another person out there starts making fun of that term again.
Thankfully, most of the feedback I received about the article was positive. And the reason of this post is an answer to a question that has come up repeatedly.
Where do I find qualified people of color for tech leadership positions?
My answer to this question is simple, reach out and build relationships with us, people that aren’t white and with no European parentage, also known as POC.
Hiring managers, executives, and even recruiters are overwhelmingly white women and men, and it isn’t uncommon that their personal networks aren’t filled with POC.
Therefore, while we try to increment the number of POC in these positions, white men and women need to make the effort to expand their network beyond people who looks AND behave like them. Diversity in personality is just as important.
Diversity is important, and it is good for business too! I don’t need to list all the benefits of having a diverse workforce, we all know the benefits. My personal favorites are the variety of perspectives and personal networks you find in diverse environments! Both crucial to be a competitive business in today’s world.
How do you expand your network? Reach out to POC within your organization, invite them to coffee, ask them about their ideas, promote them, make them part of your life. Also, attend events and make it a priority to talk to POC.
I host the Diversity in Tech Meetup here in Austin, TX, and you’ll be surprised by the small number of white men who attend the meetup. We need to increase the number of white folks who attend and invite them to be part of the solution, without them, it’ll be hard to move the needle towards getting more diversity in tech and other areas.
We don’t want to exclude white men from the diversity and inclusion programs, everyone is welcome and everyone is needed for true diversity to take place in tech.
What are your thoughts about this? Think of your personal network and decide if it is time for you to reach out to POC and minorities in general.
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