With ever-expanding communities of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, it’s more important than ever that the people behind the technology represent the complex reality we live in. Fostering inclusive, equitable teams is critical for businesses looking to drive an effective digital-first approach and succeed long-term.
As a business community, it is our collective responsibility to help create systems that empower economies and uplift communities everywhere.
Cybersource — a modernized global payment management platform — is one of the leading companies transforming the commerce industry with diversity and inclusion at the forefront. Beyond generalizations of color of skin, race and gender identification, true support for diversity and inclusion is inclusive of different generations, ways of thinking, job titles, levels of expertise, teams, partners and more. Embracing differences is the source of better and is what building better, together truly represents.
From elevating community voices to inspiring innovation, to participating in Cybersource’s hackathon designed to help solve challenges for underrepresented communities, join along to help pave the way for a more inclusive, equitable future through three distinct phases.
Champion diverse groups with access to your business tools and resources
While human nature has always been to look towards our elders for direction, there is much to say about pivoting our eyes and ears to the younger generations for guidance – a group that is shining brighter with modernized approaches to business problems.
This summer, Cybersource, The University of Pennsylvania and University of California- Berkley hosted an annual national collegiate competition to drive innovation and support for Black-owned small businesses — a community that has been devastatingly affected by the pandemic with over 40% of businesses having been wiped out.
The competing students incorporated fresh, new ideas into a problem-solving environment. Using tools and resources from Authorize.net, Cybersource’s small business payment management platform, the winning team created a mobile app for a Black-owned digital radio platform to empower and amplify underserved voices. A unique and innovative solution, it gave SparkFM a new way to build better partnerships and increase overall revenue.
The competition showed what can happen when we open our idea funnels to encourage collaboration, providing opportunities for new voices to be brought to the forefront of the ideation process. Creating events, much like those Cybersource has developed, builds confidence among the participants and helps show them what it’s like to be a part of your organization.
Crowdsource the broader ecosystem to solve tomorrow’s challenges
As an open opportunity to get involved and help drive change now, Cybersource is hosting the Empower Hackathon through the end of October 2021 where developers will be leveraging Cybersource, Authorize.net and other technology partner resources in the Cybersource ecosystem to build creative solutions that support and help digitally enable Black- and minority-owned businesses. Students from the earlier case competition will also have the opportunity to be paired with an industry developer to bring their case to life. The winning teams will have the opportunity to develop their projects into full-fledged, deployable solutions alongside professional industry developers, and can walk away with more than $25,000 in prizes.
Designed to support diversity and equity in a digital-oriented field, events like these provide budding developers and students within local communities the opportunity to create meaningful solutions, help support small businesses in their recovery and achieve business goals.
Tap into industry partners for inspiration
With diversity comes new perspectives. And with those new points of view come innovative ideas and solutions that meet the needs of many instead of just a select few–imperative in the world of commerce.
Cybersource sourced the stories of Black and minority developers, engineers and architects that are the backbone of our evolving industry to inspire others. The Diversity in Development program features unique, impactful and positive stories designed to encourage universal impact. The series covers a new topic bi-weekly for the rest of the year including how the industry defines access, how do we improve access for those who lack it, how we’re defining diversity, where the future of technology is going, what we know is holding us back, what we know we can do better for collective growth, and how we can better support minority owned businesses.
Join the movement and solicit the stories of your own ecosystem of partners to help drive the next wave of innovation in your market segment.
Driving digital growth through diversity
Regardless of the goal, diversity needs to be a part of the foundation of your business plan. Economies are diverse and the people keeping them going are, too. Leaving out any one group can have a serious impact on the end result and value of your product or service. To ensure all voices are a part of achieving the goal, start with recognizing the achievements of those in minority groups, and foster innovation and opportunity that allows them to create meaningful impact. Supporting our local communities by providing direct access to solutions, mentorship and opportunities to build together should be a consistent part of doing business.