Techlandia September 2017 - Page 26

24 O ne scandal after another has pushed diversity in the tech industry into the global spotlight, and many organizations are seeking new ways to reach out to women and minorities in their recruitment and development efforts. Many of these efforts have fallen short: 83 percent of tech workers recognize that diversity in the industry matters, and half believe improvements should be made at their own company, according to Atlassian’s latest State of Diversity Report. The same study found that while most tech workers say they believe in the value of diversity in the talent pool and want to help, many don’t know where to start. The benefits of a more diverse talent pool can have far-reaching effects because tech jobs are embedded in all sectors, and tech skills are increasingly vital to driving employment. In Oregon, the high-tech industry is an integral part of the state’s economy. As one of the fastest-growing industries, tech accounts for roughly 12 percent of statewide wages, and the sector is projected to grow by 20 percent over the next decade. Oregon’s ability to leverage the potential of its tech workforce as a driver of economic growth is turning many of its cities into important tech hubs. Today, through strategic partnerships with local organizations and higher education institutions, Oregonians are strengthening their mission to turn their state into a serious talent hub as well—one that embraces innovation, diversity and inclusion. Many companies have already started robust apprenticeship and internship programs and partnerships to help connect more people to the right opportunities, making Oregon a center for collaboration for both diversity and talent.