Over the last few years, our team at the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Computing (ABI) has expanded rapidly. We’ve hired a number of people to support the explosive growth of the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women (GHC), and we’ve rolled out a number of programs for organizations seeking to understand the best ways to increase diversity and community programs for women technologists.
As we’ve increased our numbers, we’ve done so with our broader vision in mind: A future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it. We work every day to help companies create diverse teams and build inclusive work environments, and likewise, we’re doing that same work internally.
The data shows diverse teams deliver better business results, more innovation and better problem solving and group performance. We want those same results for our organization so we can do an even better job of achieving our mission on behalf of women technologists everywhere.
Where ABI Stands
In 2016 we re-committed ourselves to inclusion at GHC:
- We set and achieved a goal of having 30% of our keynote and plenary speakers at GHC in 2016 be women of color
- We asked the conference co-chairs and track co-chairs to consider how to make GHC a diverse and broadly representative conference as they selected technical speakers
- We gathered and reported data on the diversity of the GHC Call for Participation
- We reported publicly on all of the above.
This year, we committed to holding ourselves accountable. We have tracked our employees’ racial/ethnic and gender data, and today, we are formally releasing that data.
Our 2016 Numbers
The Anita Borg Institute is pleased to report the racial and ethnic make up of our staff:
These numbers, while not perfect, are not terribly far from the overall representation in the U.S. population at large and are substantially better than the technology industry overall. Regardless, we know there is room for improvement.
Here’s how our staff breaks down by gender:
As a woman-focused nonprofit, this gender gap is no surprise. That said, we know we face an entirely different problem than for-profit technology organizations: we would be better able to serve the women we want to help if we were more gender-diverse, for all the data-backed reasons we mentioned above.
In 2017, we are committed to the following:
- Tracking and publicly reporting diversity statistics for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing; and
- Tracking and public reporting our employees’ racial/ethnic and gender make-up.
For GHC, our goal is to achieve a rate of 30% or better in diversity of keynote, plenary, and curated speakers at GHC. These are the speaker slots where we make the choices—we take seriously our responsibility to make sure those opportunities reflect the diversity of the women we serve.
We will also continue requesting that conference co-chairs and track co-chairs consider how to make GHC a diverse and broadly representative conference as they select technical speakers, and we’ll gather data on the diversity of the responses to our GHC Call for Participation. Then, we’ll share those results with all of you, as we did this year.
Internally, we’ll identify target areas for improvement and track those results. We can’t hold others accountable if we aren’t holding ourselves accountable, too.
Whether we’re working with others’ organizations or on our own, we recognize we can do more to increase diversity in all kinds of organizations – that’s why each of us has chosen to do this work. We believe achieving our goals around GHC and our internal numbers will benefit not only our organization but, more importantly, the communities we serve.