Imagine a workforce that is half women and half men with a strong minority representation. For those in the IT community, especially in Portland, that sounds like a pipe dream. But it’s the reality at CorSource.
We love being a leader in an amazing city and industry, and it’s time that diversity becomes a greater focus for companies truly looking to be morally responsible. For actual progress there must be less talk and more action. That’s been the CorSource mentality from the beginning, and why we’re fiercely determined to set the example for firms in Portland and across America.
As the father of a girl currently in 1st grade, it means a lot to me that women and minorities are offered the same opportunities as anyone else. Talented individuals hail from every background. Those looking for skilled professionals have no choice but to recognize this fact and to alter their hiring immediately.
Some companies have a diversity and inclusion statement for their organization, and that’s a good start. At CorSource, our statement and vision make clear that we are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, language, national origin, physical ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, or any other characteristic that makes one unique.
It’s simple: we’re all human. People are the most valuable asset of any business and must be treated equally. Creating a robust diversity and inclusion statement is a positive start for any company, but it’s imperative to adhere to that statement and not just use it as window dressing. Not only is that good for the world, but it’s good for business when fresh perspectives and unique takes are included instead of left outside the front doors.
For me, it’s not enough to merely hire equal numbers of men and women. A vision of true equality and inclusion can only be achieved if we push further collectively as an industry and city. That’s why I’m on the board of the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), a group that is taking huge strides to set the tone for the entire state, which has historically not been very diverse. TAO board Chairwoman Monica Enand, the CEO of Zapproved, has played an integral role in creating TAO’s six-point Equity and Diversity Statement. Ultimately, the only way to enact change is for companies and organizations to embrace diversity statements such as these and to actively follow through on their words.
Here’s the hard truth: everyone has heard about the underrepresentation of women and minorities in technology, but few take the time or effort to understand the exact makeup of the city and industry they operate in. Facts can be alarming, but they must be addressed. Studies show that only 20% of IT roles are filled by women, and in tech’s largest companies, which should ideally set a positive example, things aren’t much better. Even at Microsoft, the workforce is less than 26% female, a shameful proportion.
CorSource is living proof that equality is achievable. Out of our hundreds of current W2 employees, 50% are women and 50% are men. Just as important, all our employees are treated and compensated equally without regard to any factor such as gender or ethnicity. Further, Portland’s population is 78% Caucasian, an overwhelming majority. Through our efforts, CorSource is now a company comprised of 10% minorities and growing, far outpacing other Portland organizations and closer to representing our local community.
I’ve personally met and hired countless talented individuals of every background and know firsthand that true inclusion and equality in technology is possible throughout Portland and across America. After all, why turn away exceptional talent on the basis of anything other than professional ability? And for women and minorities in technology, it’s time to take your skills to the organizations that aim to support your career and nurture your professional growth. The world is changing and it’s time we all change with it. The future of our children depends on it.