SIMCAC hosted an event earlier this week, led by two experts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). They challenged us to deeply consider whether we, as leaders, are setting up healthy and inclusive organizations. Diversity is not the problem -- the problem is equity, inclusion and belonging.
Dr. Aparajita (AJ) Jeedigunta, Founder & CEO, AJ RAO discussed the rationale for boosting diversity in your IT staff. The recent focus on diversity and inclusion is really a natural part of us living on this earth as the human species. 2020 spotlighted how problems have become impossible to avoid. She was able to guide the attendees through ways to think about diversity, equity and inclusion using a series of questions that she uses with her clients. She also helped the attendees identify microaggressions and recognize actions that can help leaders be more impactful.
Martine Kalaw, Founder & CEO, Martine Kalaw Enterprises, LLC referenced a recent conversation with one of our members, David Tamayo:
“Management needs to understand that all this not only translates to better, more balanced employees, but a better bottom line. This is often seen by typical management as a nice to have if profits and growth are doing well. Many managers talk the talk, but don't walk the walk”.
Martine stressed that it is a moral imperative to recognize the impact that Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion has to our business. The projections are for a 34% growth forecast in US tech industry which translates to a 34% increase in the number of people needed to fuel that growth. We need to be more inclusive and think about sourcing and retention from a broader workforce perspective. According to McKinsey, by 2032, the workforce will be a majority of people of color and effective DEI programs results in 33% more to our bottom line.