Per Scholas’ Executive Vice President of People, Montreece Smith, Discusses Workplace DEIB in Take the Lead
Today, Per Scholas’ Executive Vice President of People, Montreece Smith, was featured in an article on the website of Take the Lead, a nonprofit organization that “prepares, develops, inspires, and propels women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025.”
In the article, Montreece, who began at Per Scholas as a volunteer in 2015, discusses the importance of Per Scholas’ mission to open doors to tech careers for persons of color. Despite a widespread, recent focus on DEIB in the workplace, people of color are still widely underrepresented in many STEM industries, including tech.
“According to a new report from McKinsey,” the article states, “‘Black people make up 12 percent of the U.S. workforce but only 8 percent of employees in tech jobs. That percentage is even smaller further up the corporate ladder; just 3 percent of technology executives in the C-suite are Black, according to a McKinsey analysis of Fortune 500 executives.’” This gap is expected to widen over the next decade, as is the wage gap for Black individuals in tech roles.
Per Scholas is actively working to alleviate this discrepancy by building a pipeline of diverse and talented workers, as well as fostering cultures of fairness and inclusion in workplaces. It is important, Montreece noted, for workplaces to address issues of diversity, not only in their recruitment practices, but also in the culture and climate of their workplaces.
“There are many techniques employers need to think about to engage, retain and promote employees,” Montreece explained. “Corporations fail because they put forth effort in recruitment but do nothing about development. WOC and BIPOC are watching…[To POC]: Know your worth. Diversity does not mean less than. You are capable, you are worthy and you deserve an opportunity. ”
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