A diversity and inclusion playbook

You’d be hard-pressed to find a tech company that said it wished it had waited longer to implement on diversity and inclusion efforts. The examples of tech companies “doing it right” in this industry are few and far between, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. And for those that want to try, there’s a clear playbook to follow.

Where tech companies seem to go wrong is around implementing one-off initiatives such as unconscious bias training, employee resource groups or hiring a head of diversity and inclusion. Alone, these initiatives are not effective. But implementing those together, along with other initiatives, can create lasting change inside tech companies.

More than 10 years ago, Freada Kapor Klein, co-founder of Kapor Capital and the Kapor Center for Social Impact, published her groundbreaking book, “Giving Notice,” about the hidden biases people face in the workplace. In it, Kapor Klein laid out five key strategies as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing inclusion within tech companies. In order for it to be effective, companies must implement every single initiative.

This approach, which is applicable to this day, entails instituting policies practices and principles; implementing formal and informal problem-solving procedures; devising customized training based on organizational needs; ask more specific questions on employee surveys and break down data demographically; and ensure accountability from the top.

Policies, practices and principles