Developing Diversity and Fostering Inclusion: Solving the Pipeline Problem

The shortage of talented technology workers is a major concern that obstructs digital transformation. To address this important business challenge, companies must adopt new approaches to find and groom talent. Even further, there is an opportunity to identify new sources of talent and address diversity and inclusion in the workplace at the same time. An organization can achieve a definite social and economic competitive advantage through adopting a diversity and inclusion talent management strategy.

Organizations need to ensure opportunities for employment and advancement of diverse communities. By adopting an inclusion talent management strategy, companies can attract, retain, and advance people of diverse backgrounds. In the US, there is an urgent need to increase the percentage of women, veterans, and minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanic Americans, in the workforce.

Women, veterans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans can bring diverse professional experiences, educational qualifications, competencies, and perspectives, all of which offer a huge competitive advantage. In addition to professional knowledge, such a diverse set of employees brings new leadership capabilities to the company. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai, said, “A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone”. 

The fundamental mindset of an inclusive talent management strategy is that every individual possesses potential. It is important to recognize, encourage, and foster diverse and talented employees at all levels of the company. 

The pipeline problem

Research shows that diversity and inclusion practices lead to increased innovation, improved organizational performance, better problem-solving, and the ability to attract and retain employees. Despite these facts, most businesses still struggle when it comes to building diverse, inclusive workforces.

Particularly, companies have struggled to find women and/or minorities with the work experience required for their open roles. In addition, the increased specialization of technology services means there are many new skill sets, like RPA or Cyber Security, that are hard to find among prospective diverse candidates. 

Even though smart organizations are rethinking some requirements as they may have historically been discriminatory (like degrees and Universities attended) in and of themselves, most organizations feel that genuine diversity and real inclusion can seem unattainable, even when a business is keen to rectify this problem.

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Our Solution

We believe corporate responsibility extends beyond company walls and out to our communities– locally and globally, which is why we created Step IT Up America™, an accelerated training program designed to train and employ women, minorities, and veterans in STEM fields to help solve our nation’s technology talent shortage and provide unique opportunities to these communities. This program offers a unique solution to both the diversity and inclusion dilemma companies are facing as well as the technology talent supply shortage.

SIUA also allows our clients to customize the program based on their needs. With SIUA, our clients can customize the curriculum as they need, define the capstone project to determine if students graduate and it also allows them to determine the demographics of the class (e.g. women, minorities, veterans) and select who gets into the class. Most importantly, our clients don’t pay anything until graduates begin working on-site and they can observe performance on the job before making a hiring decision.

The beauty of SIUA is that it benefits both employer and employee equally. Prospective employees receive free training and the opportunity for a role to jump-start their careers in a way they may not have been able to do otherwise. Companies can unlock an emerging talent pool that brings a new perspective to their workforce and culture. It is cost-effective, empowering, and demonstrates a commitment to diverse communities. 

Interested in learning more? See how Step IT Up AmericaTM can help you address your local technology talent requirements and simultaneously help you achieve your Diversity and Inclusion goals. 

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Author

BG Moore

President Xpansion by UST Global