M.O.S.T. Important Recommendations
Establish Business Imperative
Apply DEI to Products
Model and incentivize inclusive leadership
Increase your personal DEI expertise.
Establish DEI as a business imperative.
High Leverage Points for Modeling and Incentivizing Inclusive Leadership
Tech CEOs must help their teams by ensuring that everyone can talk about problems using a shared language and vocabulary, while also encouraging open discussion of bias and supporting the recognition of instances of bias. CEOs must use tools, procedures, processes and structures to increase accountability for DEI results and reduce the conditions that let unconscious bias override good intentions.
C-suite leaders are similar culture carriers to CEOs and should demonstrate the same inclusive leadership. But unlike CEOs who must stay focused on a company’s big picture, C-suite leaders can take a more granular approach to hiring, progression, and attrition. They play a particularly critical role in the implementation of metrics and measurements, which are described in Recommendations II and III.
Operationalize DEI throughout the business
Support DEI with funding, metrics, strategies, and accountability
Redesign systems, including hiring, retention and promotion systems, to remove bias.
Apply both a DEI framework, and an ethical framework, to the design of products and services.
High Leverage Points for Operationalizing DEI Throughout the Business
Companies should embrace inclusive hiring, which means taking special care to source, screen, and short list candidates without bias related to age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics. Once these systems are in place, it’s critical to monitor effectiveness and reward successful behavior. This may include monthly or quarterly readouts to acknowledge managers and recruiters who achieve the most inclusive candidate slates.
Middle managers are the gatekeepers for DEI in many ways. But they often lack support from upper management to carry out DEI initiatives or integrate DEI into their day-to-day jobs. In addition, DEI initiatives are still largely voluntary for busy middle managers. Without proper incentives, this group is likely to opt out of DEI initiatives that may not produce clear, short-term ROI. It’s vital to acknowledge and reinforce behaviors of middle managers who are effective in their DEI efforts.
Creating a robust DEI data infrastructure allows you to collect, track, and report on DEI data. Data demonstrates where you are, how far you have to go, and where you should focus your DEI resources. It empowers leaders to make informed decisions, define strategy, and track progress at a team level. Don’t skimp on it.
Building inclusive products is best achieved by diverse teams with multiple experiences and backgrounds having a say at every stage of the design process. Those diverse teams must proactively integrate product inclusion principles into every stage, including ideation, user research, and product testing.
Transform pathways into tech for under-represented talent
Advocate for computer science to be required in all schools.
Build systems capacity to create more CS teachers at all levels, and specifically invest in CS faculty within colleges of education.
Invest in organizations that connect talent from underrepresented groups to tech careers
High Leverage Points for Transforming the Pathway of Tech Talent
Make CS a core course in the K–12 pathway, and require access to CS education for all students in the U.S. Start in the states where you operate. Support policy to address wider educational inequity.
Work with colleges of education to create more teachers who are well prepared to teach CS, and expand training and credentialing. Update teacher training so all teachers have foundational knowledge of CS.
Invest in organizations and institutions that are already creating new pathways and connecting underrepresented students to tech.
Invest in apprenticeship programs to develop the skills of underrepresented groups without degrees. Support them in building the technical and digital skills, leadership skills, and social capital they will need to advance their careers in tech.