Dell Joins Cross-Industry Coalition to Advance Women of Color in Tech

Today, Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates and McKinsey & Company released new research on closing the gender gap in tech. The report analyzes philanthropic contributions from 32 leading tech companies. It reveals that only 5% of company’s philanthropy goes toward gender diversity in tech and even less (0.1%) goes toward women of color.

The low investment has gotten the tech industry’s attention, and we’re responding by joining forces in a new initiative launched by Pivotal Ventures called the Reboot Representation Tech Coalition. The collaboration seeks to align philanthropic donations and to increase funding with the ultimate goal of doubling the number of underrepresented women of color graduating with computing degrees by 2025.

Dell Technologies joins this effort as a founding member alongside Intel, Microsoft, Adobe, and Oath. Collectively, 12 tech companies have committed more than $12 million to this goal, which represents a 30x increase in funding.

This type of cross-industry collaboration is critical for our business success.

  • Firstly, the technology sector is outgrowing our potential talent pool. Consider the numbers – there are 1.1 million computing-related job openings in U.S. expected by 2024. Yet only 45% of these jobs could be filled by U.S. students graduating with a computing bachelor’s degree by 2024.  Working together we can pool resources to invest in the organizations we all agree have the greatest specialty in the cultural, social and economic challenges at play.
  • Secondly, diverse perspectives drive innovation. If you believe, as we do, in the critical role that innovative technology plays in transforming our world, we all benefit from broad participation in the technology workforce.
  • Finally, every company will eventually become a tech company. Creating a tech talent pool doesn’t just help us, but it helps our customers too. These are the jobs of the future. Our Chairman and CEO, Michael Dell, describes our responsibility perfectly:

“Technology continues to transform our world in unprecedented ways. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we have diverse perspectives helping to shape our collective future, and that means as an industry we have a responsibility to address skills gaps and break down barriers to participation.”

Philanthropic dollars are one of many ways Dell Technologies is putting its weight behind addressing the tech skills gap for women of color and other underrepresented groups.  Last month, we introduced the Dell ReStart program, which supports candidates eager to rejoin the workforce after stepping away from their careers. We recently joined Northeastern University’s ALIGN program, which provides a direct path for women and under-represented minorities to a Master’s of Science in Data Science, Computer Science, or Cyber Security. And today we pledged to join the HBCU Partnership Challenge,  a commitment to create strategic partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to develop top under-represented minority talent.

Our global teams are passionate about engaging in support of our future workforce. This month’s employee volunteer focus is around inspiring our future workforce through 1:1 mentorship. Learn more about the importance of mentorship in the below video featuring 15-year old STEM advocate, author and student, Quinn Langford.

https://youtu.be/rPEAjTrhniw

This effort is a journey. We know we have more to do, but we believe that through commitment and collaboration, we may have a real shot at changing the numbers and bringing new and innovative perspectives to the tech table.

About the Author: Brian Reaves

Brian Reaves is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Dell, responsible for Dell’s global diversity and inclusion initiatives. In this role, he partners with leaders and team members across the organization to deepen and advance Dell’s culture of inclusion as a fundamental business imperative. Brian is an experienced technology executive with a track record of success in advancing diversity and inclusion within the tech industry. Prior to joining Dell, Brian was a Senior Vice President (SVP) within SAP’s Office of the CEO organization, where he led Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives for the company. In that role, Brian focused on the development and implementation of D&I strategies and tactics that drove sustainable business value. While at SAP, Brian was the key innovator for two of SAP’s major diversity initiatives: Project Propel, which provided trainings on the latest technologies to a variety of groups, including Minority Service Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); and Project Dream, which aimed to increase exposure of SAP products to a more diverse range of consumers. Over the past 30 years, Brian has held senior executive software development and management roles in a number of industries/technology sectors including cloud computing, supply chain, healthcare, finance, telecommunications and utilities. Brian began his career as a software developer at Xerox Corporation and had the opportunity to participate in ground-breaking technology innovation at locations across the globe including the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which is well known for key innovations including laser printing, Ethernet, the modern personal computer and object-oriented programming. Brian’s passions include design thinking, international travel and professional/amateur sports. Brian holds a B.S. in Mathematics/Computer Science from UCLA and grew up in the South-Central Los Angeles area.