Tech Inclusion for Excluded Communities

Essay by  Linda Jakob Sadeh & Smadar Nehab: “Companies often offer practical trainings to address the problem of diversity in high tech, acknowledging the disadvantages that members of excluded communities face and trying to level the playing field in terms of expertise and skills. But such trainings often fail in generating mass participation among excluded communities in tech professions. Beyond the professional knowledge and hands-on technical experience that these trainings provide, the fundamental social, ethnic, and economic barriers often remain unaddressed.

Thus, a paradoxical situation arises: On the one hand, certain communities are excluded from high tech and from the social mobility it affords. On the other hand, even when well-meaning companies wish to hire from these communities and implement diversity and inclusion measures that should make doing so possible, the pool of qualified and interested candidates often remains small. Members of the excluded communities remain discouraged from studying or training for these professions and from joining economic growth sectors, particularly high tech.

Tech Inclusion, the model we advance in this article, seeks to untangle this paradox. It takes a sincere look at the social and economic barriers that prevent excluded communities from participating in the tech industry. It suggests that the technology industry can be a driving force for inclusion if we turn the inclusion paradigm on its head, by bringing the industry to the excluded community, instead of trying to bring the excluded community to the industry, while cultivating a supportive environment for both potential candidates and firms…(More)”.