Partner with groups in Portland that can assist with hiring and career advancement for underrepresented communities.
TechTown Portland is not doing this work alone. A sample of the organizations we partner with to broaden access to the industry includes: PDX Women In Tech, ACT-W, ImpactNW, iUrbanTeen, Portland YouthBuilders, Mount Hood Community College, and the Rosewood Initiative We also have cooperative agreements with the region’s workforce boards and the Technology Association of Oregon. Even so, TechTown has taken a limited approach to partnerships as we build out our value proposition and understand how to best achieve our vision. Partnership development will be a larger priority for 2019 and beyond.
Member companies have launched additional efforts to increase access, including:
Create and implement strategies to increase hiring of women and people of color, from intern programs to full-time positions at all levels within our organizations.
TechTown identified two existing programs companies can utilize to attract diverse talent: TalentPath and ELI. Additionally, companies have collectively attended events to attract diverse talent to Portland Tech and look to build upon these efforts in the year ahead. There has also been a concerted effort to prioritize process improvements. A better understanding of structural and societal inequities has led many TechTown companies to modify their processes to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace. Specifically, several companies have focused on their hiring processes and have worked to remove bias and more proactively target people from systemically non-dominant backgrounds in the industry.
Educate staff on unconscious workplace biases and implement specific actions designed to alleviate them.
TechTown has provided five sessions on unconscious bias led by experienced, nationally recognized trainers. Additionally, 20 shared learning sessions have taken place including two CEO Roundtables. In total, more than 500 attendees have participated in these sessions.
We are also excited to share that TechTown AllyShift series has launched with half day training sessions available to all TechTown employees. The goal is to train 300 people by the end of 2019. For front-line managers, a Lunch & Learn training series, "How to be a more effective and inclusive manager," will launch in 2019.
Provide internal development and progression programs and ensure employees from underrepresented communities can access these programs.
Individual companies have built internal structures to address this goal, and the shared learning sessions and TechTown Slack Channel have allowed organizations to share and apply lessons learned. As TechTown companies mature and grow, they will continue to develop programs that allow employees to progress. TechTown’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion raises company awareness of the need to prioritize both access to such programs and resources for employees from underrepresented backgrounds.
Share our collective data on the demographic representation of gender and race within our offices in the Portland metro area.
TechTown has taken this commitment further. In addition to sharing demographic makeup we have asked employees questions about inclusiveness and the sense of belonging. The response rate for each year of the survey is approximately 70% across all Portland-area employees at all pledge companies, providing data that allows us to better target programming and resources.
This specific page provides access to the data collected as well as the full reports produced by DHM Research. Some of the larger TechTown companies have taken positive steps toward transparency and have shared their company-specific data publicly. Thank you to the Planet Argon team who graciously donated their time and expertise to making this happen.
“Ensuring that our city’s tech industry is not only diverse but inclusive is an urgent goal. The engagement we see from pledge companies and the notably high response rate for the survey show that this task is taken seriously. Having actionable data on a yearly basis grounds the continued efforts of Prosper Portland and all pledge companies. Results from 2018 show steady, incremental progress of the kind expected when challenging structural inequity and highlight the need for targeted interventions such as those to support women of color.”
Research Associate, DHM Research
Digital Marketing Manager at Planet Argon