Portland Diversity in Tech

When TechTown Portland launched in 2015, industry leaders committed to five actions to improve workplace diversity and workplace inclusion. One action is to share our collective data on the demographic representation of gender and race within our Portland offices. Beyond upholding this commitment, the survey is used to identify trends and allows individual companies and the TechTown collective to make decisions and design interventions based on data, all with the vision of creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable tech industry in Portland. This page shares the three years of data we have collected.


Our Five Actions

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The data has provided useful information on where to focus efforts with women of color being the least represented (in comparison to white men, white women, and men of color), being less likely to hold a decision-making role, and reporting lower satisfaction on workplace environment questions.

If we prioritize supporting women of color, it provides focus while also addressing the overarching vision of TechTown.

Women of Color in TechTown Offices, 2018 8% of the TechTown workforce are Women of Color 20% of them are in decision- making roles.

Women of Color

“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.”

Eddie Szamborski

Research Associate, DHM Research

2018: Survey Data

Diversity By:



Technical position

Non-technical position

Leadership and Management

* The educational attainment question changed from previous years of the survey to provide clarity to survey respondents. Code school is now asked in a separate question, so people who have attended code schools are also counted elsewhere.

New Hires in 2018






Person of Color



Previous Numbers

2017: 46% Female, 13% LGBTQ, 22% Person of Color, 2% Veteran

2016: 43% Female, 13% LGBTQ, 18% Person of Color, 2% Veteran

Erica Tafavoti

Digital Marketing Manager at Planet Argon

How do you think the diversity pledge effort is impacting the tech industry in Portland?
I think the first step in change is making people uncomfortably aware of existing issues. The first diversity survey probably uncovered some numbers that had not been considered at all before. Now that there are two years of data, companies are able to see the beginnings of change for the better. The result has been steps toward more fair interviewing and hiring processes (which likely means a better experience for applicants), an increase in meaningful connections within the local tech community, and overall a higher level of awareness and intention from the participating companies.
What positive changes have you seen within your company since this initiative launched?
We're making a dedicated effort to get involved in local diversity groups. It's easy to brush off community events and mentorship opportunities since they aren't "moneymakers." But we've made partnering with local groups like PDX Women in Tech and Epicodus a high priority. Even when we aren't actively hiring, this helps us make meaningful connections with others in the tech field who might be from underrepresented groups.
What have you personally learned in the last two years when it comes to diversity and inclusion?
I've become aware that diversity goes far beyond simply increasing the number of minority and underrepresented employees at a company. There are many processes and changes that companies may need to implement to reduce bias in hiring, and to even open up their options to a diverse range of applicants in the first place. I've also become more aware of the small-scale interactions and micro-aggressions that people from underrepresented groups experience daily, in and out of the workplace.

This survey is made possible because of support of Prosper Portland. As the city's economic development agency, Prosper Portland focuses on building an equitable economy through work based on four cornerstones: growing family-wage jobs, advancing opportunities for prosperity, collaborating with partners for an equitable city, and creating vibrant neighborhoods and communities.