Diversity and inclusivity: more than ticking a box

Monday, 22 November, 2021

Diversity and inclusivity: more than ticking a box

Diversity for the sake of diversity simply doesn’t work. Diversity is and should always be a by-product for businesses who put great effort into maximising business success, according to TechDiversity — a not-for-profit industry alliance committed to amplifying diversity awareness and achieving a culture of inclusion within the technology space.

We are constantly surrounded by technology, seeing new innovative products and initiatives entering the market daily, with an increasing number of these committed to creating positive social and environmental impact. Such products and initiatives are commonly referred to as Tech for Good — a global movement and community of people, projects, organisations and funders promoting the role of technology to improve social, environmental and economic outcomes. It is the intentional design, development and implementation of digital technologies used to address these challenges, creating an ecosystem of technology driving positive change.

Luli Adeyemo, Director of TechDiversity, said, “I recently had a conversation with an agency working primarily with fintech companies, where the conversation led to our shared frustration around the lack of innovation for good in this space. We don’t do enough to encourage and shine a light on innovation driving positive change — technology being designed purposely for societal or environmental good.

“Once I got this idea in my head, I couldn’t let it go — we need a ‘tech for good’ category in the #TechDiversity Awards — as the movement is perfectly aligned with the TechDiversity Foundation’s vision.”

Adeyemo and the TechDiversity team want to eliminate any thoughts that inclusivity and diversity are just a tick on an organisation’s corporate social responsibility policy. The #TechDiversity Awards — TechDiversity’s flagship event — 2021 program will be built on the business value diversity and inclusion bring to an organisation.

The #TechDiversity Awards initiative has representation from the Australian Computer Society (ACS), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Vic ICT for Women, Australian Women in Security (AWSN) and SeniorPreneurs. #TechDiversity is focused on strengthening frameworks to increase the participation of all diverse groups within the technology workforce, including cultural diversity, racial diversity, religious diversity, age diversity, sex and gender diversity, sexual orientation and disability.

The awards are held annually in Melbourne, bringing together people and organisations from across Australia who are dedicated to shifting the way diversity and inclusion are addressed within the technology sector.

The 2021 #TechDiversity Awards are seeking nominations by 2 December of initiatives that exhibit excellence in #TechDiversity across one or more of the following sectors and categories — Government, Business, Education, Marketing, and Media & Advertising — as well as the newly added Tech for Good category, focusing on initiatives having a positive effect on social impact, environmental sustainability, accessibility and inclusivity, or health and wellbeing.

“Nominations can be for initiatives, products or programs reducing waste and emissions, driving human rights, enhancing mental health services, the development of assistive tech, addressing climate change, unemployment, harm minimisation or gender inequality, to name a very small handful,” said Adeyemo.

The #TechDiversity Awards & Gala Dinner will be held in Melbourne on 24 February 2022, with nomination submissions closing on 2 December 2021. Nominations can be submitted via the TechDiversity website: techdiversityawards.com/salute-awards.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Khunatorn

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