As a second-generation Asian CEO, I am heartened to see companies take tangible steps to improve diversity, and in particular, take a stand against racism and for the Black community.
Here at Tech Networks of Boston, we are proud to say more than half of our staff are from diverse backgrounds in an industry (IT Services) that is not known for diversity. In recent weeks, we’ve had conversations with our staff about their thoughts about culture, inclusion, and what it takes for all to thrive. I want to share the results of these conversations, and what from these conversations we see has worked for us in creating a diverse and inclusive culture at Tech Networks.
Value your existing employees
At TNB, we make decisions with our team. Important business issues are brought up with our staff and we take their feedback into consideration. Afterall, they are the ones in the frontlines with our clients day in and day out. In our culture, everyone’s voice is valued even if we disagree.
Being sensitive how external events impact employees
People’s identities do not exist in a bubble. They do not stop being our staff once their day ends nor do they lose their identities once they start working. When George Floyd was murdered, we communicated immediately our stance on the matter: Black Lives Matter and we are going to do our part. The same goes for international events happening in our team members' home countries.
Think outside the box with your hiring practices
Talented people and amazing employees do not come in a one-size-fits-all resume or Linkedin profile. We actively recruit at schools where the students come from non-traditional backgrounds pivoting into IT. We post job offerings in publications that reach different communities. Once they are onboard, we invest heavily in our employees’ training and development to ensure they are succeeding professionally.
Empower your community
Though there’s much we do to engage with our community, including sponsoring employees to volunteer and certifying as a B Corp, we saw that we could do more. We recently launched a free nonprofit incubator to help Black-led organizations in the Greater Boston area by providing technology assistance and a start-up grant to apply for nonprofit status. So far, we’ve funded one nonprofit organization and welcome more applications.
There is much more work to do before our workplaces become truly equitable. If any leaders are interested in having conversations, I’m happy to talk to you about what we’ve done and also to learn from you.
- Tuan Pham, CEO