Published on November 1st, 2021 📆 | 5676 Views ⚑0
It is Time to Address the Diverse Leadership Deficit in Technology
The World’s Best Connectors LLC and Arizona State University hosted the Diversifying Tech Leadership Conference in Scottdale, AZ, on October 28, 2021.
— Denise Meridith
PHOENIX, ARIZONA, USA, November 1, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — “Different is not bad,” said Haley Moss, the first openly autistic lawyer in Florida, at a recent neurodiversity conference. In nature, hybrids are often more viable. In wealth management, investors are encouraged to have diversified portfolios. Yet, some people think of diversity in the workplace as a four-letter word, a threat to majority members or an antonym to “hiring the best qualified.” On October 28, 2021 (which was designated “Diversity in Technology Day”
by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego), technology and other business leaders gathered at the Sky Song Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, to learn about the rationale for, and identify potential and new sources of diverse talent. In the post-pandemic era, when it is difficult to fill jobs, the Diversifying Tech Leadership Conference Presented by Arizona State University, sought to give the tech industry the resources, references, and referrals necessary to recruit and retain the best, brightest, diverse workforce and leadership.
The organizer—The World’s Best Connectors–is a virtual community of C-suite executives, who help other executives enhance their connections with family, employees, clients, government, and the media. For this conference, diversity was defined in many ways and included people of color, women, LBGTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.
“WBC promotes economic development,” said CEO Denise Meridith. “We remind tech companies that people are their strongest asset, and that diversity equals dollars and sustainability for the tech industry in the decades ahead.”
In-person and virtual attendees heard from government officials, such as Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega and Gallego; tech business leaders, like Jack McCauley (creator of Oculus, current Innovator in Residence at UC Berkeley) and Erica Sietsma (COO of Digital Air Strike); academic leaders, such as Dr. Neal Lester and Sandy Martinez from ASU; consultants who help companies with strategy and implementation, like RebelBase, HR Brain/ExpandHR, Thinkzilla Consulting Group, and the Minuet Group; and tech professionals, including Dr. Ryan Starzyk, Kenneth Mims, and Usman Karriem, who have struggled with discrimination issues. Moderators, partners, and sponsors, who participated included David Cogan, Gerran Bettison-Clark, Charlene Ignacio, Susan Casper, Steven Sumsion, Mary Slawson, Beth McRae, Phoenix Business Journal, Arnold Otero, and PSA.
An important part of the event was the award ceremony for the corporation (Bitwise Industries) and small business Compliance Testing), who won the “Is Diversity Your Competitive Edge?” Competition. Both successful companies have demonstrated that diversity in their workforces and C-suite have proved profitable.
“We do not want “Diversity in Technology” to be a one-day discussion. We will be gathering statistics, documenting case studies, seeking grants, creating partnerships, and, most importantly, helping companies develop and implement practical and effective strategies for recruitment and retention throughout 2022,” said Meridith.
Tech companies and professionals interested in this initiative should contact [email protected] to be put on the mailing list for more information.
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