Making pledges isn’t hard. The real work is in keeping them.
Almost two years ago, Corporate America got a wake-up call. As the world responded to George Floyd’s murder with rage, empathy, and solidarity, tech corporations vowed to address systemic racism, pledging commitments to racial equity initiatives and diversifying their talent pools. Almost two years since, think-pieces, tech advocates, and Twitter are asking whether the wake-up call led to real, meaningful, measurable progress and change.
We’ve heard conversation after conversation noting minimal movement on 2020 promises, that corporate commitments fall short in addressing substantive change, and that workplaces continue to face challenges of equity, inclusion, and belonging.That’s probably true. A lot of organizations don’t yet have adequate metrics or data to report how their efforts have materialized. Also, and perhaps more importantly, these issues have deep roots. Of $500 million dedicated by corporations to philanthropic giving in 2017, only 0.1% was granted to girls and women of color in tech. It’s clear that bridging these gaps will take more than a pledge, and more than a year.
Are we really surprised that an industry with deep-seated challenges can’t solve issues of diversity, inclusion, and racial equity overnight?
Of course not. But what’s at stake here is bigger than a statement. There’s urgency to move the needle, but not seeing quick returns doesn’t mean we stop threading the needle—finding creative and innovative ways to build and navigate complex structural change. Here are four ways tech companies can walk the talk, and commit to the often difficult, on-going, and evolving work of transforming our industry:
- Treat DEI like a business, not an incidental.
- Impact begins with accountability.
- Convert conversations to action.
- Move in sync to move forward.
Read more on our Medium page here.