Guest Column | March 23, 2020

Diversity And Inclusion (D&I) Plan For Technology SMBs

Computer Technology

Can we talk? As a small business owner, could your diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts use a little help? Most small business owners responded “yes” to our survey and cited challenges like, “I don’t know where to start,” or “I don’t have the time and resources to dedicate to such an initiative,” or “I’m too small to think about diversity.”

If this sounds like you, CompTIA’s Advancing Diversity in Technology (ADIT) Community has heard you. We believe that it’s just as important for smaller businesses to think about diversity and make an effort to represent their broader communities as it is for enterprise organizations. Your small business can enjoy the same benefits as the big companies, provided that you truly commit to your D&I plan.

Study after study shows that diverse workplaces are highly impactful, driving productivity and profitability throughout the organization. It’s clear that leaders who prioritize more diverse and inclusive workforces elevate the effectiveness of their businesses, the satisfaction of employees and their overall success. In addition to the benefits to the business, implementing a D&I strategy can contribute to positive brand sentiment among your consumers and other companies. ADIT encourages small business owners to not only think about how they can recruit, retain and optimize diverse talent, but also to seek business partners and collaborators that consider diversity a priority. If you work with suppliers, make a point of choosing ones that are committed to diversity too, as they often outperform their non-diverse competitors and provide other types of value, such as access to new markets and customers.

Using the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) definition of small business—those with 1 to 500 employees—there are approximately 6 million U.S. businesses that meet this criterion. CompTIA surveyed over 200 technology solution providers to understand their challenges in planning and executing D&I initiatives.

While this guide is created in response to those challenges, the practices described are applicable to virtually any small to mid-sized business. There are a lot of components to consider when launching a plan in order to realize maximum results. We created this guide as a tool to assist your organization in navigating the complexities of a successful, scalable and sustainable diversity strategy. Depending on where you are in your D&I journey this guide can serve as a tool you reference as needed or a deep dive in your quest to leverage diversity. ADIT defines diversity as differentiators, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability. Finally, we seek to emphasize the importance of recognizing the value, engagement and utilization of all talent with respect to marketplace advantage.

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