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How we’re designing a diverse tech ecosystem 41,000 strong from the ground up

Close your eyes… What do you picture when I mention tech worker?

The tech industry has long been dominated by white males, leading to a lack of diversity in the talent pool.

A diverse workforce is essential for better performance and a richer understanding of how technology impacts society. We know this. Studies have proven this.

Gender-diverse teams are 25% more likely to financially outperform non-diverse teams. Ethnically-diverse teams are even more likely to succeed – 36% more in fact.

So to address this issue specifically in Indianapolis, TechPoint’s Mission41K aims to diversify the 41,000 new tech jobs expected in Indiana by 2030.

And they reached out to both InnoPower and Collabo XD to move the project forward and engage the Indianapolis community in its progress. Here are the challenges we face and how we’re approaching them:

The challenges

Despite the industry’s efforts to diversify its workforce, black and brown talent still face many of the same issues they faced before. So what now?

To create opportunity for everyone, we have to identify and address the factors keeping these individuals from getting, holding and advancing through tech careers.

Collabo XD’s role in Mission41K

Collabo XD partnered with InnoPower and TechPoint to tackle this big challenge:

How can we give more opportunity to Black and Brown Hoosiers in the Indianapolis tech scene?

But to first solve the problem, of course we always suggest starting at the root problem and a full understanding of the issue.

We conducted three community design sessions in Indianapolis, Gary and Fort Wayne, where we listened to a diverse group of entrepreneurs, university students, tech workers, support organizations and community members.

5 focus areas for improving diversity

What we discovered was a five-pronged attack on the Black and Brown tech community. We broke it down to the following:

  1. Black women in tech — We need to encourage more black women to enter the tech industry
  2. K-12 students — We need to instill an interest in tech careers from an early age
  3. Graduated high schoolers — We need to help young adults find tech jobs after graduation
  4. Returning citizens — We need to empower formerly incarcerated individuals to pursue tech careers
  5. Career transitioning adults — We need to assist those looking to change careers and enter the tech industry

Insights from the community design sessions

Those community design sessions provided some super valuable insights into the real-life experiences lived by each group.

Participants had the opportunity to talk through their goals. For example, high school students shared their perspective on how to make tech careers more accessible to their peers.

Then we took this info and ran with it…

Next steps & future impact

Collabo XD, InnoPower and TechPoint are currently analyzing and refining the insights gathered from the community design sessions. You’ll certainly hear from us when they’re ready…

The next step is to develop a plan to address the diversity issues in Indy tech. The ongoing collaboration between our organizations, the government and the local business community will continue to serve all our goals.

To drive change and create a more inclusive tech industry in Indiana.

Mission41K has the potential to make a really significant impact on Indiana’s tech ecosystem. Diversity isn’t just a fancy buzzword. These are real lives impacted by great opportunities.

But we think it’s our job to enhance those opportunities. To make them stronger and more attainable for people from all walks of life.

Want to help in the fight for an equitable tech world? Join us. Contact our team to learn how you can get involved.

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