LAS VEGAS, NV — Chief diversity officers (CDOs) from internationally-recognized brands in tech shared their best practices during CES® – the world’s largest and most influential tech event – for integrating diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives creating innovative cultures which have resulted in positive changes across their respective organizations.
One of industry’s new innovative initiatives cited included HP’s partnership with the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable. Lesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer for HP, shared with this year’s audience that HP’s business-case competition is one way her teams are “investing in students who are ready to step up and reinvent not only the business landscape, but mindsets as well.”
For over two decades HP has actively participated in National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) during BDPACon, National BDPA’s annual technology conferences and career expos, as a Platinum Sponsor and mission partner providing PCs, monitors, and equipment for National BDPA’s annual coding competitions.
Above, High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Junior Developers (Jr. Devs) and finalists from National BDPA’s Southern Minnesota Chapter from Rochester, MN.
Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch shared with her audience how Bosch balances employee resource group (ERG) participation among junior developers with community STEM programs such as First Robotics. As a Strategic Partner, Bosch has an opportunity to utilize its industry experience to offer insights for FIRST programs. In Detroit, MI and other cities, Bosch continues to provide funding, equipment, volunteers and more to enhance the reach and overall impact of FIRST.
Above (L-R), Ms. Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch interviews with Mr. Maynard Okereke of Hip Hop Science in Los Angeles, CA. Ms. Yeizman shares how Bosch balances employee resource group (ERG) participation with community STEM programs such as FIRST Robotics.
National BDPA members onsite this year during CES® shared with Bosch that National BDPA’s Detroit Chapter is National BDPA’s Chapter of the Year for 2019. BDPA Detroit remains very excited about new collaboration efforts to align student programs in direct support of inclusive initiatives. Industry needs a very strong workforce to “drive” more innovation into robotics, autonomous vehicles (AVs), and electric vehicles (EVs) across automotive sector OEMs and their supply chains.
At Walmart, Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, cites having and maintaining an outstanding relationship with corporate executives which at times include very candid diversity and inclusion conversations with recommendations. Mr. Hasan stated diversity and inclusion has pivoted from a compliance approach towards more social science and neuroscience approaches at Walmart. Similar to ERGs, Walmart operates nine associate resource groups (ARGs) in support of their diversity and inclusion mission sets. This shift to operations, as an integral part of Walmart’s business units, affords ARGs inclusive educational curricula with opportunities to enhance both internal and external customer experiences.
Mr. Hasan is no stranger to BDPA. During National BDPA’s Technology Conference and Career Expo in Raleigh, NC, he shared a breakfast with National BDPA’s HSCC finalists from the National Capital Region where he discussed his experiences in college and industry with Jr. Developer teams from BDPA-DC.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) just announced earlier this week during CES® that CTA will invest $10 million in venture firms and funds focused on women, people of color and other underrepresented startups and entrepreneurs.
“To continue to evolve and grow, the tech industry needs more equal access to venture funding,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Various research reports indicate diverse teams make better decisions and achieve greater profits. At CTA, this is one more tool we are deploying to help promote diversity in the technology industry.”
“The U.S. needs to invest in a diverse talent pool to capture great ideas and innovation and help birth more ‘unicorn’ companies,” said Tiffany Moore, senior vice president, political and industry affairs, CTA. “CTA is committed to this investment and will work with established funds and fund managers who focus on women, people of color and other underrepresented groups.”