Thanks to Salesforce and other large tech companies investing in Indianapolis, we have seen a 13.9 percent increase in tech jobs over the past few years. Our city continues to rank at the top of lists for emerging tech hubs. This is causing a ripple effect which is attracting young talent and an attractive quality of life for transplants looking to find balance socially and professionally.
We are nestled right in the center of what many are calling Silicon Prairie. With that in mind, as our region inherits the perks of tech, so will it take on tech’s greatest challenge: diversity and inclusion.
Ironically, the industry that is the most innovative and has been ahead of every curve is ironically behind the people one. In comparison to the private sector, tech employs a smaller share of African Americans(7.4% to 14.4%), Latinos (8% to 13.9%) and women (36% to 48%), according to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This is all despite the fact that people of color are growing as a U.S. demographic.
We know inherently that diversity is great, but thanks to a 2015 study done by the McKinsey Institute, we now have the insights to prove that diversity is also great business! Racially and ethnically diverse companies outperform their competitors financially by 35%.
Though, great for business, it is not always the easiest to execute.
Thanks to concentrated efforts locally led by organizations such as Women in Hi-Tech, Indy Women in Tech, Start-up Ladies, and other organizations, the gender gap is certainly closing as Indiana was recently ranked the 4th best place city for women in tech.
Be Nimble hopes to leverage this momentum to also bridge the gap for other minorities in the area which have been left behind.
On August 2nd, Be Nimble will kick of the #DisruptIndy: Midwest Diversity in Tech Conference, which will be presented by Salesforce! It is the region’s first ever diversity in tech conference and will focus on redefining the path to inclusion by unpacking the diversity problem and creating solutions to increase the number of women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community in tech.
It will take place at the Mavris Arts & Events Center on August 2nd and conclude on Friday, August 4th. Our list of sponsors and partners include Salesforce, Tech Point, Eleven Fifty Academy, Ivy Tech, Quantifi, SticksNLeaves, Launch Indiana, Nextech, 1 Million Cups, and the Startup Ladies.
The conference experience and subject matter is broken into three buckets:
- K-12 Education: Building the pipeline of tech talent through curriculum and early exposure programs targeted at youth in underrepresented communities.
- Workforce Development: Creating inclusive workplace environments and recruitment strategies that optimizes the qualified diverse candidate pool.
- Entrepreneurship: Encouraging and supporting the incubation and acceleration of start-ups founded by women, people of color and within the LGBTQ community.
Nationwide and locally, thought leaders are coming to the table to bridge the gap and we are thankful to have them speak and lead sessions during the conference.
We will hear from speakers across the nation that are champions of diversity from Salesforce Regional Vice President of Customer Success, David Dickerson, Quantifi’s Founder/CEO RJ Talyor to Miami’s Felecia Hatcher, Founder of Code Fever and Black Tech Week.
Indianapolis has a unique opportunity to be a model for what true diversity and inclusion can do for a region and its underserved communities. They are faced with billion dollar problems, such as effective ethnic hair care products and food deserts, and the individuals within have the proximity and creativity to solve them.
We hope that this conference will accelerate access to the resources necessary to solve them, which will lead to greater, more prosperous communities.
For more information on the conference and to purchase tickets, visit: www.disruptindy.com. We can’t wait see you there!
Be Nimble is a social enterprise with the goal of advancing diversity initiatives to create fully inclusive tech ecosystems. We focus our efforts on the “pipeline” covering K-12, workforce development, and start-up and entrepreneurship support. By 2018 we’ll be funding, accelerating and incubating general market app and web companies invented by women, minorities, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs.