Kelli Jones is chief executive officer of Be Nimble Ventures and an organizer of the summit.
The founder of Indianapolis-based Quantifi Inc. says there are steps members of the tech community can be taking to attract more people of color and women to the work force. "We all understand that diversity and inclusion are important, but now what? What are we supposed to do?" asks Chief Executive Officer R.J. Talyor, who will be part of a panel discussing ways to bring more underrepresented workers into tech at this week's #DisruptIndy Tech Diversity Summit. "There's a combination of investments of time, resources, people, even just conversations or attitudes that we need to be doing to really increase the reach of our candidate pool." In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Talyor says employers need to think beyond traditional hiring methods.
He says there are a number of solutions companies can attempt to reach out to candidates that don't fit the "one kind" of traditional tech employee. "There are technology solutions that look at things like bias. There are hiring practices that we can do that look for people's skills and drives -- maybe outside of what traditional tech people would look like," Talyor said. Other strategies he mentioned include mentorship, sponsorship and job-switching initiatives, all designed, he said, to "build the next generation of tech successes" in the state.
The conference starts Wednesday night with an invite-only mixer and includes speakers, a startup showcase, recruiter fair and job interview sessions throughout Thursday and Friday. "For two days, we are really going to unpack what diversity is all about," event organizer Kelli Jones told Inside INdiana Business, "we'll spend a lot of time talking about why this is important. I think a lot of us already know, but really dialing it down, so we have talks like Diversity in Innovation -- how having a diverse work force makes you create even more innovative ideas." Presentations will aim to develop solutions to boost industry representation of women, minorities and members of the LGBTQ community.
By Anthony Harcourt Portfolio Manager, Bedel Financial Consulting Inc.
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