Leaders in tech have launched an industry-wide campaign aimed at fostering a more inclusive environment for underrepresented groups
TORONTO, June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Today, StackAdapt launches its first ever initiative in raising awareness for diversity in tech. An 18 minute documentary, titled #HackDiversity, is powered by thought leaders in the Toronto startup community and calls for immediate action against ongoing unconscious bias in the industry.
"It all started with an internal discussion on how we can show our support for the LGBTQ community in tech during Pride month," explains Vitaly Pecherskiy, COO & Co- founder of StackAdapt, on the inspiration behind #HackDiversity.
"As we researched the issue of diversity in tech, we realized that it goes way beyond HR initiatives. The absence of LGBTQ community, women, and visible minorities in technology and computer science is a systematic disappointment. There are many studies and articles addressing this subject but very few calls to action. That's why we asked leaders in our forward-thinking industry to aid us in a call to arms."
Participants in the #HackDiversity campaign include: Jeannette Stock, Chairman of Venture Out; Heather Payne, CEO of HackerYou; Jaime Woo, Engineering Communications at Shopify; Elena Armstrong, Co-founder of Exact Media; Ali Asaria, CEO of Tulip Retail; Salim Teja, Executive Vice President, Ventures at MaRSDD.
The top calls to action from participants are unanimous:
1) Increase diversity in the pipeline by fostering an accessible and welcoming environment for visible minorities. Adequate representation will encourage young people from diverse backgrounds to acquire the skills they need to enter the workforce
2) Prioritize diversity in company culture, talent acquisition, retention and advancement. Report on diversity numbers and benchmark for success
3) Overcome unconscious workplace bias through transparent and open communication
"Diversity needs to be fundamentally rooted in the tech industry. Technology and innovation are meant to disrupt the status quo and to make the wold a better place. We, as technologists, are responsible for creating equitable products for everyone," says Pecherskiy.
The #HackDiversity project invites members of the tech industry in Canada to join our efforts in fostering an equal and inclusive environment.