21 November 2019
So far, Digital has very much been about delivering software technology in support of the business. The computer educated and literates have populated IT departments and benefited from the rise of the digital economy. Though most of them would probably not realise it, they have enjoyed a privileged position for the past two decades. This is the nature of a privilege, it is hard to appreciate.
In the meantime, other demographics have not had the same luck and many found themselves on the outside of this booming industry for being the wrong gender, ethnic, or lifestyle. They have been the "prejudiced" of the early digital age.
As enterprises are looking to be more inclusive, we are now seeing diversity targets for gender and/or ethnicity. Is this the right way of addressing this challenge?
As competition is intensifying, it is not just about delivering digital software anymore, but about innovating with it. Innovation stems from diverse thinking, as well as backgrounds and groundings. Diversity will be the fuel of innovation in the next era of digital. Assembling a team will be alchemy for innovation to prosper. Does this mean that the once privileged will become prejudiced and vice-versa?
Most HR departments are establishing ratios and targets for diversity. Though the intention has to be saluted, this approach also results in unintended consequences. Is it the right approach or a necessary one? Is real diversity on another level altogether that we will aim to explore that evening?
Diversity is a complex topic and we will not aim to solve it in an evening, but look to create more awareness, and from this establish if diversity can be approached in a better way by enterprises and all of us in our daily work.
We will use large scale systemic facilitation techniques to get all the voices heard and provide an experiential approach to this very worthy topic. We are also planning to have a few guest speakers talking about their challenges with a view to raise better awareness and stimulate the discussion.