In recent years, corporate diversity and inclusion efforts have gained more traction. Companies increasingly recognize that building more diverse workforces is not only the right thing to do, but also offers considerable strategic advantages. After all, research suggests that diversity may be a crucial ingredient to building more innovative and successful companies.
But within companies, some areas remain less diverse, starting with technology departments. “It’s pretty well documented that there are certain ethnicities and gender profiles that are underrepresented in tech—Black, Latinx, women,” says Mark Mathewson, senior vice president of card technology at Capital One. “And that continues to be a challenge in the industry.”
The lack of diversity in the tech sector is problematic for several reasons. On a global level, the U.S. needs a stronger and more diverse technology workforce if it’s to remain competitive on the world stage. More locally, companies that can’t evolve and build more diverse tech teams may simply lose ground in a highly competitive marketplace. “I don’t see how you can be innovative and forward leaning if you don’t do that,” says Maureen Jules-Perez, Capital One’s vice president of HR technology.