Imagine if you had a roadmap for increasing your firm’s diversity–one that outlined actionable steps to take, from hiring to retention.
That’s what Rachel Murray and Felicia Jadczak of She Geeks Out are envisioning with their daylong program, SGO Workshop: Recruiting and Retaining for Diversity, taking place here at the Hub on April 13.
She Geeks Out has been hosting a range of programs to address the issues of women in STEAM–or the notable lack of them in many STEAM organizations. The latest statistics from the United States Department of Commerce paint a challenging picture: although women make up 48% of US workers overall, they represent only 24% of the STEM workforce. The wage gap also persists, albeit at a lower rate than in the US overall: STEM women earn 14% less than men in comparable roles, slightly better than the general worker population’s 21% gap.
The mission of She Geeks Out, and their Thursday program, is to change all that. Rachel and the team have conducted numerous trainings addressing the overall principles of fostering diversity in the STEAM worksforce. Mostly, these have focused on identifying and addressing unconscious bias. These programs have been well-received by companies looking to increase the number of women STEAM workers they attract, and created demand for a more in-depth program. This was the origin of Thursday’s event. “People want to take it a step further than wanting to be diverse,” says Rachel, who co-founded She Geeks Out “to create an inclusive culture that values and upholds diversity, particularly gender diversity,” according the SGO website. Business leaders wanted to make diversity actionable. SGO responded to this need by putting together Thursday’s daylong program.
The workshop will do more than talk about issues in diversity, though dialog remains critical. Instead, it will provide attendees with a concrete roadmap for implementing more diverse hiring practices, retaining women, and creating a culture where everyone feels at home. Two sessions will take attendees through a detailed look at recruitment and onboarding, then on to creating an action plan, complete with a Slack channel to help hold each other accountable after the event.
At the start of the workshop, students will learn:
How to write a job description that appeals to women
Where to source candidates to widen your applicant pool
How to interview candidates so they feel welcome and see their potential at your organization
This leads to the afternoon session, which puts it all together into an action plan, looking out one week, one month, and one year from the workshop. Attendees will keep the conversation going, share resources, discuss progress, and hold each other accountable regularly on the aforementioned Slack channel. All students will also get tangible support materials, such as a workbook, to make it easier to plan diversity initiatives.
The goal is to help companies really make diversity work for them and their employees, in 2017 and beyond. More importantly, notes Rachel, it’s also to grow a community of leaders looking to change the outlook for women and other underrepresented communities in STEAM.
To learn more about She Geeks Out’s Workshop, Recruiting and Retaining for Diversity, or their mission and other programs, visit their website at SheGeeksOut.com