Trump cancels federal racial sensitivity training – Five reasons why this is so wrong

Diverse teams outperform those that are not.

NOTE: Links to several of my previous blogs on the subject of race and racism are at the bottom of this short blog.

As a diversity and inclusion consultant, I was in for a Labor Day weekend shock when my colleague Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, the National Diversity Council’s Senior VP of Strategy and Research, texted me a Forbes article that President Trump has now ordered a ceasing of all federal government employee trainings on racial sensitivity. Link to the Forbes article.

In his pronouncement, Trump is calling diversity training divisive and anti-American, particularly referring to efforts to that promote racial understanding in our nation.

Here are my five reasons why this is so horribly wrong.

1) Diversity training is about building unity, not divisiveness. The purpose of diversity training done right is bring diverse people together to understand the value and strengths each unique person brings to an organization. Diversity training promotes understanding people different from you and treating them with respect.

2) Diversity training is ultimately and totally American, not anti-American. The United States has been built upon diverse people coming from all areas of the world and contributing their gifts and talents to building this “great experiment” (as called by several our country’s founders.) The US’s strength comes from being perhaps the most diverse nation on earth.

3) There are past historical wrongs that do need to be addressed. Yes, even as people came from all over the globe to build a new fantastic nation, there are dark stains on our history that need to be recognized. These include the genocide of the Native Americans that were here before the European settlers, the dehumanizing institution of slavery, and the pushing out of, and the stealing of land from, the first Hispanic settlers in the American southwest.

Movement Like “Black Lives Matter” are working to address systemic racism.

4) The current wrongs and issues in our country need to be addressed, not ignored. Sure, slavery was abolished over 150 years ago, but systemic racism and unfair treatment of our Black population is pervasive and documented. To grow as a country, we must come to face to the realities of systemic racism and start to seriously address it.

5) Relevant diversity strategy and training breeds success. This has been proven in the business world; companies and organizations that “get diversity” outperform their non-diverse peers and are more profitable.  See leading consulting group McKinsey’s report “Diversity Wins and How Inclusion Matters.”

Let us all unite to build a better more inclusive diverse nation and world where together we grow stronger and better.

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Links to several of my past related blogs on this topic

Diversity and Inclusion- Does It Divide Us or Unify Us?

In “Facing the Truth – Racism Still Persists in the USA,” I discuss both personal and institutional racism.

This blog summarizes an excellent book providing an excellent long-term historic view of racism in the US: Divided We Stand – Racism in America from Jamestown to Trump – a Book Review.

Trump cancelled approved plans to place African-American woman Harriett Tubman on our $20 bill

And a recent blog about how Trump reversed the plans to place Harriett Tubman on our $20 bill. 

A guest blog by my cousin Brandon who works as a priason social worker; Five Steps to Reduce the Mass Incarceration of African Americans.

Two cool books on race relations from a University of Chicago Graduate.

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Blog author Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBTQ+ diversity strategy and training, Unconscious Bias and Employee Resource Groups. Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]

How to Find and Attract Diverse Tech Talent

Children of color need to be a future resource for tech talent!

In my last blog (link), I shared a summary of two short podcasts about two excellent sources of talent – older adults and veterans. I continue the recruiting theme now discussing a challenge particularly facing tech companies – finding and attracting diverse tech talent.

Having a diverse workforce behind your company is one of the best strategies you could employ to ensure success.

By employing diverse tech talent, your company not only puts forth an image of inclusion and equality but also benefits from a workforce with differing perspectives, allowing it to pool contrasting thoughts to produce the best products that will appeal to a range of customers.

Below we will highlight a few places from which you can source diverse tech talent to advance your company’s success. These organizations are strategically focused on growing the diverse tech talent pipeline at an earlier stage.

Black Girls Code.  This San Francisco-based non-profit organization teaches young African American girls from urban communities how to code.

Through Black Girls Code’s expert instructors, students from Grades 6 through 12 learn how to code using languages like Ruby on the Rails and Scratch.

The program includes close mentorship from current and experienced tech professionals. It also includes a competition where students go head-to-head to  highlight the work the girls have done on apps, games and software tools.

This results in graduates from Black Girls Code being well prepared for a career in tech after finishing high school. Most pursue further studies either at a university or the more popular option these days, a coding bootcamp.

This means if you’re looking to hire top tech talent to fill your diverse ranks, checking if they received training from Black Girls Code is a good standard.

Code 2040. Code 2040 is another nonprofit looking to bolster the ranks of diverse tech professionals. By dismantling obstacles in the way of minorities, the organization is striving to make an impact on the career of at least 150,000 Black and Latina tech professionals.

Code 2040 pairs new tech professionals with more experienced tech mentors in a program that offers guidance for those looking to break into the tech industry, not only as software developers but also as team leaders in management positions.

Code 2040 also offers a fellowship program and internships over the summer that allow students to immerse themselves within a top tech company while on break from their studies.

There are now even coding bootcamps for younger kids. They can start early on the tech career path!

Coding Bootcamps. Many of the students learning through the above mentioned organizations will eventually make their way to coding bootcamps, which have become the go-to alternative in place of traditional college educations.

Coding Bootcamps are short-term, intensive programs designed to teach students everything they need to know to excel within the tech industry at any large company in less than 12 months.

Grads from these programs have become well-known for their skills and work ethic, which often surpass those who went through traditional two- or four-year college programs.

This means coding bootcamp graduates are also more innovative as the education model they follow is unlike the traditional curriculum.  Coding bootcamps are more focused on practice than theory, preparing grads to jump right into the workforce without a steep learning curve.

Coding bootcamps offer training to students looking to become Software Engineers, Web Developers, Designers, and Data Scientists.

Most bootcamp grads also come from a diverse background since many of them likely chose to enroll in a bootcamp after switching careers. This means hiring coding bootcamp graduates is a great way to bring a variety of skills to your company. If you’re looking for top tech talent with diverse backgrounds, coding bootcamps are one great alternative for sourcing tech talent.

Conclusion. In order to discover top tech talent for your diverse workforce, you must look to and support the organizations pushing for change within the industry. Nonprofits like Black Girls Code and Code 2040 are at the forefront of providing tech education to minority groups. Students from these nonprofits often take the tech skills they learned early on in their school days to intensive coding bootcamps, where they master the knowledge needed to propel any tech company forward. Keep nonprofits and coding bootcamps in mind and you’ll surely be able to track down and hire diverse tech talent.