The Latest Move to Revolutionize Diversity in Tech: DEI Town Hall
The absence of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry isn’t just a surface-level issue. The homogeneity in the field is a major reason that flaws exist within emerging technology. It’s hard to ignore the disparities that have become overwhelmingly obvious — just think about facial recognition’s algorithmic bias that harms communities of color.
BU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Tech Collective is moving forward in their initiatives to create actionable solutions to address these problems. Their jumpstart was collecting over 600 survey responses from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students on their experiences within the field last semester.
“Tech fields within and outside of BU continue to fall short in representation and in fostering cultures of belonging for everyone, so it was important to leverage data to emphasize this,” Sara Lubin, DEI Tech Collective member and IS&T Training manager, said.
Those answers drove their next move: the inaugural DEI Tech Town Hall which dove into “some very difficult to read survey responses,” Lubin said.
“Many reiterated that the examples in the survey responses, while shocking, were not surprising. This is extremely disheartening and is something that we should all reflect on. And of course, take action where we can — interpersonally and structurally,” she added.
The town hall also allowed participants an opportunity to brainstorm goals that should be met in order to broaden the diversity among the tech community. The April event marked the official launch of the Collective, which Shateva Long, DEI Tech Collective intern, said extends to several members of the community. “We especially wanted this conversation to be between students, faculty, and staff instead of just between the groups independently,” she said.
As for next steps, the DEI Tech Collective will host other types of events while also collaborating with other departments on campus. “We plan to make this town hall a recurring discussion within the tech community and will continue to make strides towards improving the tech dynamic at BU,” Marina Barros, DEI Tech Collective marketing intern, said.
For those interested in joining in on the conversation, this official calendar of events is the page to check out. For any suggestions or ideas for collaboration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.