Sparkbox’s Digital Diversity Days tackles lack of diversity & inclusion in tech

November 4, 2019

It’s no secret that the tech industry struggles with diversity & inclusion — so Sparkbox is hosting Digital Diversity Days later this month as a step to address the issue.

Digital Diversity Days at Sparkbox will run 10am to 4pm on Wednesday, Nov. 14 & Thursday, Nov. 14 at Sparkbox, 123 Webster St., Dayton. The free event will feature a workshop with Silicon Valley veteran Karen Catlin & a day-long leadership forum that includes moderated sessions and breakouts.

Through 25 years building software products and serving as a vice president of engineering at Adobe, Karen Catlin witnessed a sharp decline in the number of women working in tech. In her workshop, she will pull directly from her book, Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces, to offer strategies to attract job candidates from underrepresented groups; be inclusive during the interview process; set up new hires for success; amplify and advocate in meetings; give effective and equitable feedback; and use inclusive language in the work environment.

Attendees should bring a laptop, tablet or phone to review their organization’s career site, job descriptions and more, as part of exercises to identify immediate improvements to attract more candidates from underrepresented groups.

On Thursday, there are no presenters — just organic discussions that foster engaging conversation & peer-to-peer learning. Potential topics include creating inclusive workplaces, attracting diverse employees, communication barriers, resistance to change, difficulty in defining diversity, intercultural miscommunication, in-group favoritism, etc.

“The goal is to help you solve your challenges, gain inspiration and get back to work with a whole set of ideas to implement immediately,” the Sparkbox website states.

Sparkbox is a local tech company that partners with organizations of all sizes to plan, design, and develop phenomenal websites and apps.

Register for Digital Diversity Days here.