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Model and incentivize inclusive leadership


ACTION 1

Increase your personal DEI expertise.

ACTION 2

Establish DEI as a business imperative.

CEOs and leaders are ultimately responsible for company culture. But to foster an inclusive environment, they must first be inclusive leaders. Changes at the top flow down, influencing the behavior of others and translating company norms to hiring practices. An inclusive culture won’t happen without the visible, persistent engagement of the CEO and C-suite.

High Leverage Points for Modeling and Incentivizing Inclusive Leadership

CEOs

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

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.

An adult with long hair walks up steps toward an open doorway accompanying a child with short hair wearing a baseball hat and backpack and carrying a cell phone.
Model and incentivize inclusive leadership
ACTION 1
Increase Expertise
ACTION 2
Establish Business Imperative
Operationalize DEI throughout the business
ACTION 3
Resource DEI
ACTION 4
Redesign Systems
ACTION 5
Apply DEI to Products
Share DEI data, metrics, and goals
ACTION 6
Share Data
ACTION 7
Set Public Goals
Transform pathways into tech for under-represented talent
ACTION 8
Advocate for CS
ACTION 9
Create More CS Teachers
ACTION 10
Invest in Organizations

Operationalize DEI throughout the business


ACTION 3

Support DEI with funding, metrics, strategies, and accountability

ACTION 4

Redesign systems, including hiring, retention and promotion systems, to remove bias.

ACTION 5

Apply both a DEI framework, and an ethical framework, to the design of products and services.

CEOs must approach and resource DEI like any other business imperative. Companies won’t move the needle on DEI until they introduce systemic efforts, led by top leadership, that drive accountability for DEI throughout the company. When aiming to operationalize DEI throughout a business, be aware that your strategy is unlikely to succeed if it doesn’t take account of culture.

High Leverage Points for Operationalizing DEI Throughout the Business

Recruiting Systems

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

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.

DEI Data Infrastructure

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.

Product Inclusion

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.

A person with short hair holds a clipboard and stands in front of a presentation screen and makes an expressive hand gesture toward an individual with long hair who is sitting in a wheelchair.
Model and incentivize inclusive leadership
ACTION 1
Increase Expertise
ACTION 2
Establish Business Imperative
Operationalize DEI throughout the business
ACTION 3
Resource DEI
ACTION 4
Redesign Systems
ACTION 5
Apply DEI to Products
Share DEI data, metrics, and goals
ACTION 6
Share Data
ACTION 7
Set Public Goals
Transform pathways into tech for under-represented talent
ACTION 8
Advocate for CS
ACTION 9
Create More CS Teachers
ACTION 10
Invest in Organizations

Share DEI data, metrics, and goals


Improving DEI accountability and governance requires data. Tech CEOs and companies must overcome their aversion to DEI data transparency and agree to minimum industry standards for DEI data reporting. Equally critical, the industry must move beyond DEI as an exercise in federal compliance, and embrace DEI as a strategy to boost talent and innovation. It’s is now time to enter a new era where DEI in tech moves from compliance to innovation, supported by data and learning.

High Leverage Points for Sharing DEI Data, Metrics, and Goals

In the tech industry, data has always been important to driving success. Data turns on the lights. Without it, we don’t know where we are, how far we have to go, or where to focus our DEI efforts. Data helps us track progress and measure success. We must create a common language around DEI data and agree to hold ourselves and each other accountable to drive transformational change.

Industry alignment will be nearly impossible if we’re all speaking different languages. Tech’s DEI data has inconsistent definitions, making it nearly impossible to measure and track year-over-year progress. Agreeing on a shared language around how we categorize employees removes guesswork and allows for true cross-industry comparisons.

Goals are effective because they generate the will for behavioral change. In the past, tech company disclosures haven’t regularly included goals or targets, and the outcomes to date suggest that disclosure without goals does not motivate change. As an exceptionally data and metrics-driven industry, tech is better set up than most to bring evidence-based rigor to DEI.

A person with shoulder-length hair sits at a desk with a laptop and potted plant on it, while a person with short hair stands next to the desk making an expressive hand gesture.
Model and incentivize inclusive leadership
ACTION 1
Increase Expertise
ACTION 2
Establish Business Imperative
Operationalize DEI throughout the business
ACTION 3
Resource DEI
ACTION 4
Redesign Systems
ACTION 5
Apply DEI to Products
Share DEI data, metrics, and goals
ACTION 6
Share Data
ACTION 7
Set Public Goals
Transform pathways into tech for under-represented talent
ACTION 8
Advocate for CS
ACTION 9
Create More CS Teachers
ACTION 10
Invest in Organizations

Transform pathways into tech for under-represented talent


ACTION 8

Advocate for computer science to be required in all schools.

ACTION 9

Build systems capacity to create more CS teachers at all levels, and specifically invest in CS faculty within colleges of education.

ACTION 10

Invest in organizations that connect talent from underrepresented groups to tech careers

American students have unequal access to computer science (CS) education in secondary schools. This is compounded by deep educational inequities that start much earlier: Sixth graders (11 to 12-year-olds) in the richest school districts are four grade levels ahead of children in the poorest districts. Even for those students in public school who perform well, the availability of high-quality CS education is patchy and courses are rarely required. Tech CEOs and companies can promote widespread policy change in U.S. states and school districts to transform pathways for future talent.

High Leverage Points for Transforming the Pathway of Tech Talent

Education Policy

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.

CS Teachers

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.

Talent Organizations

Invest in organizations and institutions that are already creating new pathways and connecting underrepresented students to tech.

Apprenticeship Programs

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.

An adult with glasses and their long hair tied back in a ponytail makes an expressive gesture in the direction of two students who are seated at a table and have their hands raised. One student is wearing a hijab, and the other has short hair and is wearing a baseball hat. Both students have laptops in front of them.
Model and incentivize inclusive leadership
ACTION 1
Increase Expertise
ACTION 2
Establish Business Imperative
Operationalize DEI throughout the business
ACTION 3
Resource DEI
ACTION 4
Redesign Systems
ACTION 5
Apply DEI to Products
Share DEI data, metrics, and goals
ACTION 6
Share Data
ACTION 7
Set Public Goals
Transform pathways into tech for under-represented talent
ACTION 8
Advocate for CS
ACTION 9
Create More CS Teachers
ACTION 10
Invest in Organizations