Building Inclusive & Diverse Tech Hubs: Creating an inclusive culture

Building Inclusive & Diverse Tech Hubs: Creating an inclusive culture


[MUSIC PLAYING] WAYNE SUTTON: I’m Wayne Sutton. MELINDA EPLER:
I’m Melinda Epler. We’re the founders
of Change Catalyst. We empower inclusive and
sustainable innovation globally. WAYNE SUTTON: Welcome
to this series sponsored by Women Techmakers,
Google’s program that provides visibility,
community, and resources for women in technology. Together, we’re
helping tech hubs to develop more inclusive
cultural programs in spaces. MELINDA EPLER: This video
focuses on the internal company culture of a tech hub. Like a co-working space,
learning community, accelerator, or corporate
innovation center, in order to develop an inclusive
culture for your external community of students
and startups, you need to make sure
your staff and teams– who create that space– feel
included, have the skills, and feel empowered to create
an inclusive environment. WAYNE SUTTON: Creating
an inclusive culture is the key to long
term innovation. Inclusion should start
from within the core values of your company, and permeate
throughout everything you do, and every decision you make. MELINDA EPLER: This
may mean you need to revisit your team or
organizational values. Put together a working
committee formed by leadership, your people
team, and diversity advocates. If you don’t know who your
diversity advocates are, put a call out to everyone
in the organization, and let them know what you’re
doing, and you’ll probably find some volunteers. WAYNE SUTTON: Then
find a good facilitator who can take you through
a design thinking process to adapt your current values
so that you can include safety, inclusion, and belonging. MELINDA EPLER: Since
you’re a tech hub, you may have a member that
can facilitate this or know someone who can. Once you have your
new values, make sure everyone knows
what they are. Put them on your
website, incorporate them into the decor of your
workplace or classrooms, and make it a part
of your brand. WAYNE SUTTON: As
you begin working to create an inclusive
culture at your organization, it’s important to have a
dialogue with current staff to understand how they feel
about the organization. You can do this through a
survey, one-to-one interviews, or round table. MELINDA EPLER: Make
sure you develop a safe, confidential, and
transparent environment where people understand why you are
asking for their feedback, where their ideas will go, and
who they’ll be shared with. WAYNE SUTTON: In
these discussions, let them know you are there
to listen to what is working, or what is not
working so that you can improve the organization,
culture together. This inclusion survey should
ask questions like, why did you choose to work here? MELINDA EPLER: Will you
recommend your friends to this hub? And, if not, why not? WAYNE SUTTON: Do
you have suggestions for developing a safer,
more inclusive environment? MELINDA EPLER: Do you feel
there are opportunities for you to learn and grow here? WAYNE SUTTON:
Additionally, you want to ask your current
diverse community how they would like to
be involved in making it a more inclusive hub. The key is not to make
under-represented people responsible for diversity
programs, because we all have a role in play
in solving this, but to invite them to be a part
of the change, if they like to. MELINDA EPLER: Once you have
some core recommendations, develop an action plan
to begin addressing the needs you’ve heard. And, at the same time,
your organization has an opportunity to correct
the effect of any past biases in titles and promotions. Plus, equal pay and benefits
for hubs that have paid roles. So conduct an audit of
these across all jobs, and correct them as
soon as possible. WAYNE SUTTON: We have included
some resources in the links below to learn more. It is important for tech hubs
to map out recruiting process, to identify potential
barriers for under-represented candidates, whether they be
recruitment staff, membership, or leadership. MELINDA EPLER: Depending on your
hiring and recruitment process, there may be areas that
prohibit qualified candidates from accepting a hiring offer
or even considering to apply. Things to think
about here include, is the recruiting
portion of your website and other marketing
materials presenting an inclusive environment, from
the photos to the language, and the value stated
for your company? And is your website accessible? WAYNE SUTTON: Are you sourcing
candidates from diverse schools and backgrounds? MELINDA EPLER: Does
your interview process help candidates
from all backgrounds feel like they belong
at your company? WAYNE SUTTON: Does your
hiring process show candidates that their needs are valued? For instance, are you allowing
them to schedule interviews at the beginning or the
end of the work day? Is your hiring process lengthy,
or drawn out, or efficient? MELINDA EPLER: Do you offer
benefits at your tech hub? And, if so, are they
supportive of all people? Of every gender, race,
ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, veteran
status, et cetera? WAYNE SUTTON: Once you
establish these opportunities for improvement, work
together with your hiring team to co-create solutions. Invest in your
people and develop the pathways to
leadership for everyone, but especially
under-represented staff. The best way to hire
leaders is to hire from within the company. MELINDA EPLER: In order to
make this a possibility, consider certification programs,
executive coaching, invitations to executive and board meetings,
establishing mentorship programs, and bringing
in role models to speak and host Q&A. A big
key to inclusive innovation is having diverse teams working
together to solve problems. WAYNE SUTTON: Diverse teams
lead to greater innovation, outperform non-diverse
teams, and provide greater financial returns. MELINDA EPLER: Reinforce your
inclusive values across teams, ensuring each team values
all voices and perspectives. WAYNE SUTTON:
Diversify each team, and hold team leaders
accountable to hiring diverse candidates. MELINDA EPLER: Provide
professional development training that includes
compassion and empathy, understanding, and filtering
personal biases and conflict resolution skills. WAYNE SUTTON: We’ve covered
a lot in this short video. You can’t do everything at once. Now that you have an
overview, take time to prioritize based
on what you’re hearing and your inclusion survey. And just like any tech project,
use agile design thinking methods, and try new ideas– learn from them and iterate. MELINDA EPLER: Now
that we’ve walked through the internal
culture, we’ll take a look at external
programs and physical spaces in the next videos. For more information
about Women Techmakers, Change Catalyst, and additional
resources, see the links below. WAYNE SUTTON: Share this
series with your community, and let’s work together
to create inclusive tech hubs around the world.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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