Women in Tech Field Add Spotlight to Diversity

It all began with Ellen Pao.  She brought the spotlight to the technology industry’s lack of diversity.  A couple of years ago,  Ms. Pao brought suit against her employer at the time, Kleiner Perkins, accusing the firm of gender discrimination. Unfortunately she lost, but this did not end her quest for change. Others joining the bandwagon include Google’s Erica Baker (caused stir when she started a spreadsheet for employees to share their salaries) and Laura I. Gomez ( founded a start-up focused on improving diversity in the hiring process). These women, along with others, have started an effort to collect and share data to help diversify employees who makeup tech companies. This nonprofit venture is called Project Include which stands out because of the number of well-known tech women in the group who have championed diversity. As part of Project Include, the group plans to extract commitments from tech companies to track the diversity of their work forces over time and eventually share that data with other start-ups. They will focus on start-ups in the hope that companies will think about equality sooner rather than later.  “If companies start early with diversity and inclusion, they don’t have to bolt it on later, which is much harder,” said Ms. Baker. Tech companies have been very slow to change their course on diversity. Companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft have openly admitted their failing in creating diverse work forces.