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The Business Case for Diversity and How to Achieve It

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Business Diversity

CHANNEL PARTNERS VIRTUAL — The business case for diversity is strong. We’ve known about the business benefits and facts about inclusive cultures for years; for example, achieving better financial goals, better business outcomes and increased innovation. The goal now is to establish a road map for creating an inclusive culture in the tech industry, according to panelists at Channel Partners Virtual on Thursday.

This is what the benefits of diversity look like. Companies are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial goals. They’re three times as likely to be high-performing, and six times as likely to be agile and innovative. They are eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.

Risha Grant at ACW Connect Live Evolution 2019

Risha Grant

“I’ve been in this industry for 25 years, and the business case has never been more important,” moderator Risha Grant, international speaker and host, Risha Talks Series, said during The Business Case for Diversity keynote. “Companies are scrambling to make changes as they try to figure out how to create inclusive cultures.”

Long Road Ahead

As good as the business case for diversity looks, it doesn’t reflect what’s happening in the tech industry.

“In the last six years that tech companies have been publishing their annual diversity reports, we have seen very little change,” said Grant.

Making inroads of her own in technology is the self-described unicorn, and first-generation Latina, Nancy Sabino, CEO and co-founder, SabinoCompTech, and session panelist. She shared her first-person experience with diversity, noting that it broadens the perspective of the entire organization.

Channel Partners and Channel Futures are dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community as a whole. Thus, we are featuring news articles, first-person accounts and strategies around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. Visit our webpage dedicated to the topic.
SabinoCompTech's Nancy Sabino

SabinoCompTech’s Nancy Sabino

“It allows us to do more when it comes to how we communicate with different people and how we work effectively as teams,” said Sabino.

Pointers for Hiring

Brandon Knight, vice president, business development, contact center practice at Telarus, offered some hiring pointers on what business leaders can do to address inclusion. His advice is based on the company’s experience in working with other organizations.

For example, when posting a position, look outside of the usual go-to places and job fairs.

Telarus' Brandon Knight

Telarus’ Brandon Knight

“You’re not going to get candidates from the inner city when you’re running a job fair at a mall that’s an hour outside of the inner city,” he said. “Some of this is simple. You have to go where your audience is. Or, use platforms that more minorities may use.”

Knowing what areas, resources, job fairs, etc., will attract the talent you’re looking for, is vital. So it’s important that hiring companies do their homework to know where their outreach will be most effective.

CompTIA Research

CompTIA has done the research on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry to be able to identify the issues.

“One of the things that’s risen to the top, and I emphasize this whenever I speak, is that people get hung up on [the idea] that diversity means quotas. That diversity means you hire X number of black employees, X number of Hispanic employees, X number of women,” said panelist Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “That’s not really the case. That’s a nice value-based kind of thing to aspire to, but the reality is, if you can convince the CEO or principal owner that hiring a diverse workforce composition isn’t just a value thing to do, but rather an innovation thing to do, it’s going to be better for your business,” she said.

CompTIA's Carolyn April

CompTIA’s Carolyn April

April recommends that channel business owners talk to other employers about how they’ve seen diversity add to the business benefit. When talking about diversity, April means, more specifically, a business workforce that isn’t all male and all white.

“The actual business benefit is exponential,” she said.

Do the Work

It’s one thing for companies to create a more diverse workforce; however, no one benefits if …

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