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About Catalyze Tech

Catalyze Tech is a new initiative to align the tech industry around collective action for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This challenge will not be solved by any one leader or company alone. The ACT report provides CEOs and tech companies (indeed all companies) with a rigorous framework of action. The ACT recommendations were developed over the course of a year by a cross-industry working group of academics, DEI experts, think tanks, and tech companies. We call for an approach that inspires people—and, in particular, majority groups—to motivate themselves to find innovative DEI solutions. The goal is to bring a new urgency to this work, while creating a paradigm shift in our approach to DEI. We hope you will join us.


OUR GOAL

If the tech industry wants to stop failing at DEI, it must change its own culture. Reduce high attrition rates of underrepresented groups who leave more quickly than they arrive. And collectively tackle the underlying root causes that lock underrepresented groups out of the industry at an early age.

This report sets out four recommendations, supported by 10 actions, that tech companies can take. We recognize that it’s hard work for businesses to create a level playing field, and a wealth of data implies no one’s yet succeeded. Companies should join forces to make a difference, and corporate systems must be redesigned to root out bias and drive equity. This report explains in detail what that means.


Paradigm Shift

A true paradigm shift first requires a mindset shift. Tech’s current paradigm is often dispersed, individual and short-term—put simply, tech companies often poach each other’s diverse talent. Individual companies must take action to root out systemic bias in their own hiring practices, but that alone won’t move the needle on representation. We ask CEOs and tech leaders across the industry to create a new paradigm shift that’s holistic, collective and long-term. Data alone is not enough. Accountability alone is not enough. Leadership alone is not enough.

Above all, diversity alone is not enough. It doesn’t work to just “add diversity and stir.” A paradigm shift must combine multiple elements, including leadership, values, accountability, diversity, empowerment of underrepresented groups, long-term commitment by majority groups and a mindset shift. If a company can successfully achieve that combination, the resulting paradigm shift has a high chance of success.


Meet the Catalyze Tech Working Group

If DEI is a journey, the ACT Report aims to sit where the rubber hits the road. The good news: there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we build on findings from dozens of experts and organizations to create a rigorous framework of action. Our Working Group met biweekly for a year to aggregate relevant evidence-based approaches that businesses can take to help improve DEI outcomes. The research findings here have been extensively peer reviewed.

We know that DEI represents an extraordinary opportunity. This report is a call to action during a transformational moment for business ethics and leadership. Real change requires a paradigm shift—newfound courage to alter systems and mindsets. We invite people from across the tech sector and beyond to use these tools to act boldly and collaboratively on the defining issue of our day: equity.

Logos represent individual Catalyze Tech Working Group members' organizational and institutional affiliations.

Anita B dot org
The Aspen Institute
Bennington College
The Brookings Institution
Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions
Coqual
C S for All
Edge in Tech Initiative at the University of California
Georgia Tech Constellations Center for Equity in Computing
Google
Harvard Business School
Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program
IncluSTEM
Kapor Center
L A Tech dot org
National Center for Women & Information Technology
P – W – C
Q Side
Reboot Representation
Scholastic Education Solutions
Snap Inc.
University of Massachusetts Amherst

 

CATALYZE TECH WORKING GROUP MEMBERS

 

CHAIR
Oona King
Snap Inc.

VICE CHAIR
PwC

Sean Arian
LA-Tech.org

Catherine Ashcraft, Ph.D.
National Center for Women & Information Technology

Lecia Barker, Ph.D.
National Center for Women & Information Technology

Kamau Bobb, Ph.D.
Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology

Iris Bohnet, Ph.D.
Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Maarten Bos, Ph.D.
Snap Inc.

Siri Chilazi
Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Nilanjana Dasgupta, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Harold Edwards
Scholastic Education Solutions

Joanne Esch
National Center for Women & Information Technology

Ruthe Farmer
IncluSTEM, CSforAll

Michelle Florendo
Powered By Decisions, LLC, Management Leadership for Tomorrow

Dwana Franklin-Davis
Reboot Representation

Ann Quiroz Gates, Ph.D.
The University of Texas at El Paso, Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions

James Heighington
Google

Makada Henry-Nickie, Ph.D.
The Brookings Institution

Jude Higdon, Ed.D
QSIDE Institute, Bennington College

Nien-hê Hsieh, Ph.D.
Harvard Business School

Lanaya Irvin
Coqual

Alyssa Jarvis

Anthony J. Mayo
Harvard Business School

Mike McGee
AnitaB.org

Saheema Rawat

Kara Sammet, Ph.D.
Expanding Diversity and Gender Equity in Tech (EDGE in Tech)™ Initiative at University of California

Vivian Schiller
Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute

Allison Scott, Ph.D.
Kapor Center

Lisa Young


KEY PARTNERS

ASPEN DIGITAL, A PROGRAM OF THE ASPEN INSTITUTE
Zaki Barzinji; Jennifer Bradley; Carner Derron; Dominique Harrison Ph.D.; Tricia Kelly; Vivian Schiller

NATIONAL CENTER FOR WOMEN & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Catherine Ashcraft, Ph.D.; Lecia Barker, Ph.D.; Joanne Esch; Teresa Hogan; Lucinda Sanders

PwC
Joshua Cooper

SNAP INC.
Jessica Harvie; Oona King; Marian Trâm Pho; Natasha Weinstein


CONTRIBUTORS

BSR

Disability:IN
Mylene Padolin, Becky Kekula

Diversity Lab

GLAAD
Ross Murray, Gwendolyn Pointer, Alex Schmider, DaShawn Usher

Perrine Farque

Kresnicka Research & Insights
Susan Kresnicka

Laura Maechtlen
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Natives Rising
Danielle Forward

Jordan Naylor

Matt Nusbaum
Biddle Consulting Group, Inc.

Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley
john a. powell, Karen Bouris

Project Basta
Sheila Sarem

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Center for Equity, Gender & Leadership
Genevieve Macfarlane Smith, Ishita Rustagi

The Unstereotype Alliance

 


Contributing Organizations

These organizations contributed to the content of the ACT Report.


BSR
Disability:IN
Diversity Lab
EGAL - Berkeley Haas
GLAAD Media Institute
Kresnicka Research
Natives Rising
Othering & Belonging Institute
Project BASTA
Seyfarth
Unstereotype Alliance

FOUNDING SIGNATORIES

View all

Airbnb

Apple

Ariel Investment

Cisco

DoorDash

Dropbox

Etsy

Google

Justworks

LinkedIn

Headspace Health

Maven

Netflix

Nextdoor

PwC

Ro

Salesforce

Snap Inc.

Spotify

Twitter

Uber

Vimeo

Warby Parker

Wipro

Alliance for Global Inclusion

PledgeLA

 

ENDORSERS

View all

Annenberg Foundation

Color of Change

NAACP

FOUNDING SIGNATORIES

View all

Airbnb

Apple

Ariel Investment

Cisco

DoorDash

Dropbox

Etsy

Google

Justworks

LinkedIn

Headspace Health

Maven

Netflix

Nextdoor

PwC

Ro

Salesforce

Snap Inc.

Spotify

Twitter

Uber

Vimeo

Warby Parker

Wipro

Alliance for Global Inclusion

PledgeLA

 

ENDORSERS

View all

Annenberg Foundation

Color of Change

NAACP