As a professional woman working in HR & Recruiting in the tech industry for more than 20 years, I have experienced progressive changes in the culture of companies my colleagues and I work with every day. Companies have moved from a lack of understanding to a lot of talk to finally realization and action. I’m proud of the changes that have been made thus far, and even more proud that I’m a part of a company moving positive practices in diversity and inclusion forward.
Today, Skytap is one of 30 companies that joined the new, industry-led Tech Inclusion Pledge that extends the inclusive entrepreneurship and diversity actions from the first White House Demo Day. As part of this new pledge, we have committed to taking concrete action to make the technology workforce at Skytap more diverse and inclusive. A press release issued by Insight Venture Partners details the commitment: “As primary signatories to the Tech Inclusion Pledge, these companies pledge to:
- implement and publish company-specific goals to recruit, retain, and advance diverse technology talent, and operationalize concrete measures to create and sustain an inclusive culture;
- annually publish data and progress metrics on the diversity of their technology workforce across functional areas and seniority levels;
- invest in partnerships to build a diverse pipeline of technology talent to increase their ability to recognize, develop and support talent from all backgrounds.”
I know we have a long way to go, both at Skytap and in the tech industry, but I am proud of the progress I have seen over the past few years. Skytap is helping make a difference through our involvement in the Ada Developers Academy (both as a sponsoring company and I am on their advisory board), supporting Washington State University’s Women in Engineering programs (which we are kicking off in July of ’16), and the recently announced City of Seattle’s TechHire initiative.
In the coming months, the White House will work to bring these companies together to determine the best long-term strategies for making this pledge a reality. They will discuss how to make positive progress and how to truly build a more inclusive tech workforce.
There are a number of companies, nonprofits, universities, and others around the country taking action to promote inclusive entrepreneurship in response to the President’s call to action. The combination of these actions will continue to raise awareness and push these initiatives forward.
I’m looking forward to making significant strides not only at Skytap but during my next 20-years in the tech world.
For more information, take a look at the National Center for Women & Information Technology and CODE2040 where additional companies can join the Tech Inclusion Coalition and find implementation resources to help meet their commitments.
Jill brings with her over 20 years of HR, Recruiting and Mergers & Acquisition experience through a variety of roles within large, start-up and emerging companies; including, Visio, Microsoft, Google, and iStart Ventures. Jill began her high-tech career with Visio Corporation, leading recruiting, HR and employee relations functions, as well as acted as the Visio HR Integration lead through the Microsoft acquisition. She has spent several years within the Microsoft HR and the Venture Integration (M&A) team working on and leading the Venture Integration HR team on over 80+ deals in her career. She was the HR Lead for the Skype acquisition and integration.