Pipeline Perceptions and Realities: A Deeper Look at Barriers to D&I in Tech and Its Impact on Society

60-minute Workshops

Day 2

Session Code: S1-F
When: April 17, 2019
Location/Room: M 100 AB
Level: Introductory
Track: D&I Strategy
Presenter: Cynthia Overton, Kapor Center


This session will explore demographic trends in the technology industry and barriers that contribute to the lack of diversity in tech—going beyond “pipeline problem” rhetoric to address issues such as exposure to the tech industry, hiring and workplace practices, geographic location, internal struggles (e.g., stereotype threat, imposter syndrome, environmental cues, confidence), and other issues that can serve as a barrier to underrepresented populations entering and succeeding in tech.

The presentation will also discuss how this lack of diversity can have an adverse impact on technology innovation, including technology that reflects racial bias, gender inequality, and barriers for people with disabilities. Further, the presentation will address financial implications that diversity and inclusion barriers have on the industry when considering industry spend on recruitment and turnover of diverse talent, the inability to meet the needs of diverse consumers, and costs associated with retrofitting technology to become inclusive of people with disabilities.

Additionally, the session will address initiatives that the industry and other organizations have designed and implemented to address the problem and, finally, it will highlight InclusionClearinghouse.org, a website of curated resources that promote diversity and inclusion throughout the tech ecosystem and are freely available for public use.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify factors that contribute to the lack of diversity in the tech sector
  2. Understand the impact that the lack of diversity in tech has on innovation and society
  3. Identify data reports, industry practices and other resources that aim to improve D&I throughout the tech industry

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