Inspiring Leadership with Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

Education Changes Mindsets

By Danniella Banks

As we all know by now, the tech industry is struggling in terms of diversity. The numbers of various companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter, are staggering to say the least. They are more white and male than almost any other industry in the United States, but what are they doing about it?

Many of the companies are blaming the pipeline, stating that they cannot recruit women and other minorities when there aren’t as many women and minorities pursuing these degrees. In order to change the culture, many of the companies are “throwing money” at the problem by donating money to organizations and schools to create programs that will help to bring more women and minorities into the pipeline.

On the other hand, you have Apple. It has reorganized the listing of its executive leadership to highlight those on the executive team and board of directors that are women and minorities, instead of arranging them in order of seniority. In addition, it has created videos and other imagery to highlight the diversity that is present within the company. While these things may make Apple feel warm and fuzzy by showing that it does have some diversity, I believe that there are other things that they could be doing.

From what I can see, at this point, none of the tech companies seem to be doing the right thing. Instead of highlighting diversity and blaming the pipeline, why aren’t they doing anything internally to educate themselves and their employees? If they are, then why aren’t they making it public?

Instead of trying to blame others or make it seem as though there is more diversity than what the numbers show, they need to take the appropriate steps to show the rest of the world that they are committed to diversity, inclusion and cultural competence. They need to be humble enough to say that while they don’t understand how to make diversity a higher priority within the company, they are doing everything in their power to make it a priority by starting at step number one: education.

According to Dr. Milton Bennett, co-founder of the Intercultural Communication Institute, “training changes skills, but education changes mindsets.

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