For the first time ever, California’s three segments of public higher education came together to present and discuss their approaches to addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in the information technology (IT) function.
The goal of the half-day Intersegmental DEI Summit, April 30, 2021, was to launch an intersegmental DEI conversation and collaboration. IT leaders from each of the segments gave overviews about their DEI strategies, presenting a wide range of approaches, many of which were very similar but with interesting and unique angles from each segment. The presenters emphasized each segment’s commitment and efforts to date but recognized that much additional work is still needed.
- The benefits diversity that brings an organization
- Recommendations for blind recruitment practices
- Remembering to “lead from the heart”
- Affirmation that “inclusion” includes accessibility for people with disabilities
- A DEI focus in CIO councils, IT conferences, staff training
- Ideas for intersegmental student and staff internships/mentorships
- Student transfer opportunities
The UC IT function has begun examining DEI data related to the systemwide IT workforce. UC presented the results of its analysis with respect to gender equity in IT jobs from 2013 to 2018.
The summit concluded with an inspiring and richly informative keynote by Eugene Whitlock, chief people and culture officer at UC Berkeley. His presentation, “Why Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Matter to IT,” covered the pragmatic business reasons to value diversity and the history of racial injustice, and drove home the message that each of us needs to proactively be anti-racist.
325 people from the different segments registered for the event and attendee feedback has been very positive with requests for future summits. Presenters committed to keeping the conversation going and to explore how together they can build intersegmental DEI initiatives to the benefit of both employees and the larger institution of public higher education.
A recording of the webinar is available. Passcode: &g2CX5ss