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The Texas Governor's office issued a controversial memo to state agencies and public universities, claiming that "the use of diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in hiring violates federal and state employment laws?" These policies, however, coexist and complement one another. DEI policies support federal anti-discrimination laws such as the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which strengthens our hiring process and increases innovation. Without these two laws, we wouldn’t have the progress we have obtained today. The memo also states that hiring cannot be based on factors "other than merit." However, statistics reveal that our hiring processes already take into account factors other than merit. Consider how many Black and Hispanic people work in technology, as well as how many women hold positions of power. Consider how many Black and Hispanic people live in poverty, and how much less women earn than men. In today's society, you are hired and given opportunities based on who you know, where you live, or what school you attended. Several employers who reach out to Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ) do not understand the systematic barriers that limit their talent pool and allow problems to go unsolved. They believe that hiring someone with a four-year degree and years of work experience is not discrimination, let alone system-generated bias. Even with anti-discrimination laws in place, white males continue to constitute the majority of the workforce and earn more money than any other ethnicity, race, or gender in America. Our own preconceptions are intertwined with our decisions during the hiring process, and we may be unaware that we are biased, prejudiced, or discriminatory. Despite our anti-discrimination laws, bill of rights, and right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we continue to maintain a separate, but equal mentality in which our laws and policies benefit one group while tearing down others. This is one of the reasons why, at the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic, AUTMHQ launched The Texas Technology for All petition. During this time of adversity in 2020, we witnessed a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic employees lose their jobs, close their businesses, and receive unequal and inequitable resources to cover their expenses. This compelled us to provide devices, internet assistance, and technical upskilling opportunities to our community members in order for them to survive and thrive at work. DEI initiatives supplement our federal and state employment laws by accounting for unconscious bias in the hiring process. As a result, rather than being anti-DEI, we should be anti-discrimination and support anti-discrimination initiatives such as The Texas Technology for All petition. Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ) stands for a fair, equal, and unbiased hiring process for the people who make America a diverse and empowered nation.
Michael Ward Jr. President and CEO at AUTMHQ
🚫 Gov. Greg Abbott tells state agencies to stop considering diversity in hiring
In a memo written Monday and obtained by The Texas Tribune, Abbott’s chief of staff Gardner Pate told agency leaders that using diversity, equity and inclusion policies in hiring violates federal and state employment laws, and hiring cannot be based on factors “other than merit.”
Gov. Greg Abbott’s office is warning state agency and public university leaders this week that the use of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives — policies that support groups who have been historically underrepresented or discriminated against — is illegal in hiring.
In a memo written Monday and obtained by The Texas Tribune, Abbott’s chief of staff Gardner Pate told agency leaders that using DEI policies violates federal and state employment laws, and hiring cannot be based on factors “other than merit.”
Pate said DEI initiatives illegally discriminate against certain demographic groups — though he did not specify which ones he was talking about.
Diversity wins: How inclusion matters
The business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is stronger than ever. Taking a closer look at diversity winners reveals what can drive real progress. ([This] research predates the outbreak of the global pandemic, but we believe these findings remain highly relevant. See the sidebar, “In the COVID-19 crisis, inclusion and diversity matter more than ever,” for more on why I&D must remain a priority even as the context shifts, or read “Diversity still matters” for an even deeper dive. You can also explore a related interactive for another lens on the issues.)
How Can The Tech Industry Bridge The Workplace Diversity Gap
· Improving diversity across the technology industry is not just a moral imperative, but rather a requirement for businesses looking to grow and scale in pace with the modern world of work
· In particular, working towards greater diversity will be critical in engaging and retaining skilled talent
· Around 67% of job seekers consider workforce diversity as an important factor when deciding where their next job will be, a statistic that skews more highly toward younger demographics, who will form the workforce of the future
How Women and Non-Binary People in Tech are really doing
Promoting gender equality in the technology field is important even though the career is genderless. In STEM careers, there should be a greater representation of women, non-binary individuals, and transgender individuals. It is important to note that a diverse team comes with a variety of advantages, such as having a fair representation of gender identities, a variety of viewpoints, as well as insights that will enhance your business or product. As stated in McKinsey & Company's "Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters" 2020 report, the latest analysis reaffirms the strong business case for both gender diversity and ethnic and cultural diversity in corporate leadership—and shows that this business case continues to strengthen. The most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.
One of the reasons that gender equality is not fully achieved in the technology sector is that "30% of young people choose not to participate in STEM fields because of discrimination," according to stemwomen.com's LGBTQ+ in Stem 2021 report. A mere 5.31% of women work in STEM fields, while 1.42% are non-binary and 1% are openly transgender. Several shocking facts are revealed in Forbes' article "Startling Research Reveals How Women And Non-Binary People Are REALLY Doing," published in 2022.
Black in Tech sponsored by Oracle NetSuite
Thursday, February 16, 2023, 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. CST at Capital Factory, 701 Brazos Street Austin, TX 78701
We're dedicated to increasing diversity in the tech community and making our co-working space an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and identities. WHO IS THE EVENT FOR? Black leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and allies in tech who support and invest in diversity and inclusion. Join our new LinkedIn Group and start connecting with fellow entrepreneurs, tech professionals and more who will be attending the summit! Discuss takeaways, the session topics as well as future opportunities during and after the event!
WHAT TO EXPECT Attendees can look forward to a keynote chat from a serial entrepreneur or investor, a networking brunch, on-the-spot resume reviews, insightful discussion sessions, a portfolio showcase, live entertainment, and happy hour.
WHAT ARE EPIC OFFICE HOURS? Consider it speed networking with entrepreneurs and mentors from our network. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs, top figures, and investors will be here for lightning-round mentor sessions with YOU! Applications now open - startup founders APPLY HERE!
Intersectional Allyship in Action: Supporting Black & Brown Professionals
Thursday, February 23, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST at Inn Cahoots 1209 East 6th Street Austin, TX 78702.
An insightful evening learning from Black and Brown community builders, leaders, and entrepreneurs about their drive to empower their communities and the exponential impact that happens when you partner with each other.
Come to participate in a dialogue on how to catalyze support between black and brown communities to help everyone grow.
The relationships and bridges we create at events like this will connect and elevate Black and Brown aspirations, success, and knowledge.
“When the tide rises, all the ships rise.”
This event is hosted by the Association of Latino Professionals For America’s Austin Chapter.
Digital Equity Advisory Workshop Registration
Hosted by Travis County and City of Austin staff In 2023, Travis County and the City of Austin are conducting a study to better understand community members’ internet and digital device needs. We want to get advice from Travis County and City of Austin community members about the activities we are currently planning in the study, so we are hosting 2 advisory workshops in February and March 2023. We want to hear from community members who have experienced difficulties with accessing, affording, or using the internet. If you are interested in sharing your voice, please learn more and sign up for 1 of the workshops below. Register for one workshop here: https://traviscountytx.jotform.com/230387082370858
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