The innovation ecosystem that drives economic growth and medical advancements in our digital age relies on technology – everything from physical devices to formless data. But without human talent, technology turns to stone.
Jeff Joseph, president of Washington, DC, based SIIA, the principal US trade association for the software and digital content industries, is urging his organization and its members to commit to making progressive change towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring practices, culture, operations, and offerings.
The key to driving real change is growing the talent pool, Joseph tells CCC.
“One of the challenges that we have in some parts of our industry is that the current pool for diverse talent is relatively small. So we need to set a metric not only for improving the outcomes with the existing talent pool, but driving more talent,” explains Joseph, who was recently named one of Washington’s most influential people by The Washingtonian.
“We need to get to those communities who have not traditionally been engaged in STEM for whatever reason – we need to reach out and make sure that they feel comfortable engaging, that they have access to programs,” he says. “Those in disenfranchised communities and communities on the margins, they need to see themselves. They need to see themselves represented so they believe that they have opportunity and hope.”
Prior to joining SIIA in 2018, Jeff Joseph was founder and CEO of Starlight Public Affairs, a strategic communications firm advising an array of corporate and non-profit clients. Joseph also served as senior vice president of communications and strategic relationships for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies. CTA owns and produces CES® – The Global Stage for Innovation.