D is for Diversity

Prioritize diversity in the workplace with Maranda Provance’s tips.

By Claire Porter | Photo by Brandon Alms

Mar 2017

Diversity in the workplace is a hot topic, and for good reason. A diverse workforce leads to more innovation and creativity, but in some industries, that’s easier said than done. “Tech is not the easiest thing to get into,” says The Geek Foundation Co-founder Krista Peryer, citing the industry’s overall homogeneity in gender and race. Peryer and Co-Founder Maranda Provance launched The Geek Foundation to bring more people of all backgrounds into tech. Below are a few of Provance’s tips for increasing diversity.

Tip 1: Recognize that Representation Matters

“When we don’t see role models who look like us, we tend not to lean into that field of work, even if we might have all of the skills it takes to be great,” Provance says. When interviewing, try to have at least one person from that same minority group at the table so your recruit feels like he or she won’t be isolated in your office environment.

Tip 2: Be Aware of How You Present Available Jobs

Provance suggests using neutral language—rather than asking for an aggressive, hard-driving person, look for a motivated, energetic person. Look at your maternity and time off policies, which might be discouraging women, who are still often primary caregivers, from applying. Use a blind screening process to remove clues about gender or race when hiring to prevent bias from creeping in. 

Tip 3: Acknowledge Your Biases

“Be aware of unconscious biases coming from yourself and others in your company,” Provance says. “If you are intentional about being inclusive, you will cultivate the type of diverse team that studies show will improve your bottom line.”