April is Diversity Month: the story behind the new UC Tech DEI Leadership Award – apply now

UC Tech Awards Program / Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Golden Award presented to ____ by Van Williams and the UC IT Leadership Council on July 18, 2023

By Derek Shue. In recognition of Diversity Month, celebrated each April, the UC IT Blog team is sharing important diversity insights and resources, along with details about the new UC Tech Awards Program Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Award, announced last month.

About Diversity Month & the new DEI Leadership Award

Established in 2004, Diversity Month inspires communities to continue to improve support for underrepresented minorities. While this mission might seem obvious to some, progress cannot come quickly enough, as the UC IT Blog has learned in recent interviews with the UC tech community. Thank you, Van Williams, Molly Greek, Aisha Jackson and Cheyenne Matthews-Hoffman, Nick Dugan, Charron Andrus, Rita Rosenthal, Amy Neeser and many others for your forward-looking views on diversity this year.

To help stimulate positive change in DEI at the university, the Information Technology (IT) Leadership Council recently announced the new UC Tech Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Award. It demonstrates their committment to diversity and provides an opportunity for every member of the UC Tech community to take a leadership role in diversity by simply applying and/or spreading the word about it – apply now

The University of California: a history of bold actions – past, present, and future 

In 1870, only two years after the university was founded in 1868, UC’s visionary leaders made a radical decision to begin admitting women to UC on equal terms as men. This was about one hundred years before other elite universities, and 50 years before women received the right to vote. Despite these examples of success, women still face enormous hurdles today, particularly in the technology industry, where women only make up only 28% of the IT workforce. Furthermore, they hold only18% of CIO positions and 21% of other executive/senior level positions in IT. Clearly, visionary leadership is as important today as it was 153 years ago, and particularly in tech. 

The UC tech community has an opportunity to create programs and initiatives that support DEI both at the university and beyond. The new UC Tech Program DEI Leadership Award represents one such initiative and a way for the community to learn examples of the great work that has been happening at the university and to thereby stimulated further change.

The university’s values statement promotes DEI

The university’s value-statement is featured on the UC Operations “Mission, Vision and Values” landing page. Among the eight values listed there, DEI is featured, with the following definition:

We embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in all forms. We strive for a community that fosters an open, inclusive, and productive environment where we respect the potential of all individuals to make a positive contribution.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: The University of California Value Statement [UC Operations]

About the UC Tech “DEI Leadership” Award  

The UC Tech Awards Program DEI Leadership Award represents an expansion of the UC Tech (aka Sautter) Awards program, which has been recognizing innovation and excellence in IT at the university since 2001. Today, there are seven awards categories: (1) DEI Leadership*; (2) Design; (3) Innovation; (4) IT Security; (5) Operational Excellence; (6) Sustained Impact*; and (7) UC-Wide Collaboration. (*For individuals only)

The IT Leadership Council is providing a new platform for the tech community to celebrate and encourage diversity, equity and inclusion leadership, in the form of a leadership award, as follows:

Award description

The UC Tech Awards Program DEI Leadership Award recognizes the leadership of an individual in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in technical communities, as demonstrated by specific tactics to create vehicles that improve visibility, access and engagement of underrepresented populations.

Award judging criteria

Applications will be judged based on three criteria, as they apply to DEI and the award description above: (1) complexity (How complex was/were the problem(s) addressed?), (2) impact (number of individuals impacted, and/or depth of impact), and (3) mission-alignment (How the work advances the university’s mission or key values of access and excellence).

The winners of this award (up to one golden and one silver award), along with other important UC Tech awards, will be announced publicly at the UC Tech Conference on July 18, 2023. 

Applications and nominations for the UC Tech Awards are being accepted until May 1, 2023, at 5 p.m. The IT Leadership Council is honored to have begun receiving many applications and nominations from across the university, which will represent progress towards their vision of creating a more diverse and inclusive future for all. 

Have you demonstrated leadership and commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion using technology?  Would you like to recognize a colleague? Would you like to help support DEI? To apply or nominate a colleague, visit the 2023 UC Tech Awards Program Background & Application Form.  

UC Tech Awards Program applications & nominations info sessions

If you have more questions or would simply like to meet past or present applicants and the program manager, please attend one of the following info sessions via Zoom:

Thursday, April 27, 8:30-9:15 a.m. [Zoom link]
Host: UC Office of the President
Contact: laurel.skurko@ucop.edu

About the author

Derek Shue
UC Information Technology Marketing & Communications Intern
Undergraduate Student at UC San Diego

About the UC Tech Awards 2023 Program Manager

Laurel Skurko, Marketing & Communications, IT Services, UC Office of the President
Laurel Skurko
Marketing & Communications
UC Information Technology Community
UC Office of the President

[Cover image: UC Tech DEI Leadership Award Certificate Golden Award (Sample Certificate)]