Tech Collective Launches Diversity & Inclusion Programming Initiative

Providence, R.I. – Friday, May 10, 2019 – Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s foremost Information Technology Association, unveiled its new programming arm Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), committed to providing learning opportunities and resources to companies and individuals as they work to become more authentically inclusive, and to support the traditionally underserved technology workforce community. The launch of this program comes on the heels of the 10-year anniversary of the Tech Collective’s Women in Technology program, designed to empower female STEM workforce with trainings and relationships to overcome barrier and bias.

The Tech Collective’s D&I kick-off event, “Integrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Into Tech Product Design,” took place April 25 and centered around how to make diversity, equity and inclusion an intentional part of the product design process. The event featured a panel discussion of core business leaders who are at the forefront of product design and D&I work:

  • Banu Ozkazanc-Pan: Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology, Brown University Faculty, The Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Nina Chow: Project Manager/Business Analyst (PMBA) at Kenzan
  • Claude Arnell Milhouse: Co-Founder & CEO of CareerDevs Computer Science Academy; Co-Founder & CTO at Common Connect App; Founder of IntraCity Geeks
  • Dawn Russell: Lead User Experience Designer at Upserve

Theresa Moore, President & Owner at T-Time Productions, moderated the panel discussion. The event was sponsored by The Office of Institutional Diversity at Providence College and T-Time Productions.

Attendees learned several D&I practices they can incorporate in the product design process, from exploring different types of strategies that work on a team for encouraging a diverse set of ideas and perspectives to be heard to creating pathways for open communication to promote a greater understanding diversity to focusing on diversity in both a top down and bottom up manner.

“We are so excited to be expanding our initiatives to include Diversity & Inclusion in tech and to have had such a successful and energetic kick-off event!” says Amanda Roman, Tech Collective Program Manager. “Our commitment is to support companies and individuals on their path to be more inclusive and to provide training and resources to the entire technology community, particularly those who have typically been left out of the conversation. We hope to provide a forum for growth and awareness that creates a hub for Diversity & Inclusion within tech and overall business in the state.”

To support its Diversity & Inclusion initiative, the Tech Collective is assembling a steering committee of business leaders who will shape the direction of future trainings and workshop. The group will focus on introducing future trainings surrounding a number of D&I related topics such as: writing job descriptions that are more inclusive of the entire tech population, removing implicit bias in product design, and how to partner with community organizations that promote workplace inclusivity and equity.

To stay connected with the Tech Collective’s future diversity and inclusion events, or to request more information, click here.