The tech industry future is female and full of color. If you do it right.
In the US, February is Black History Month and March is Women’s History Month. So today is a good day to reflect on the great diversity and inclusion strides we have made to get to where we are, and the work we still have left to do. Today, from where I’m looking, the latter seems more apparent but I am encouraged by our emerging leaders in the millennial generation. According to Brookings Institution , “…racial diversity will be the most defining and impactful characteristic of the millennial generation”. There is a beautiful and important intersection between the millennial generation workforce and diversity, that must be recognized and appreciated. We believe this is one of the primary keys to success in building the future Spotify team, and in the end to the success of our company.
“…racial diversity will be the most defining and impactful characteristic of the millennial generation”
I look very optimistically on our future and the talent that will lead the workforce going forward – a generation full of people of color and also more women in tech than is the industry average right now of about 26%.
But to earn our place in this bright new future, we must do more than talk, recruit at career fairs or host ted-style presentations now and then. It’s not enough to just invite members of the diverse communities to join. We need to get out there ourselves, be present, and actively advocate for an inclusive culture. The new age of recruiting is more than just making “diverse hires”. I believe it requires us as employers to link arms with underrepresented and underserved communities, and be true allies.
Throughout February, Spotify has celebrated the American Black History month by demonstrating just that – leveraging our product to showcase the beautiful art of various artists and creators. We have had Black History month themed playlists, categories and original content. And we’ve had programs and events internally, for our employees to reflect, learn, and continue the strides forward.
To be able to attract the right talent for our future success, our employer brand presence must be an experience comparable to what our 100+ million music fans feel with their Spotify product – it is a part of a moment in their life, it is apart of the fabric of their life. We must do exactly that in our diversity outreach. We must be able to effectively showcase the amazing possibilities of a career at Spotify, no matter who you are and where you came from.
Right now, the Spotify Talent Acquisition team is partnering up with different organizations and initiatives to provide education, access, and inspiration for underserved and underrepresented talent. So we can open up our business to them and allow us to match up with great talent to add to the Spotify mix.
With such a diverse generation on the cusp of majority in the talent market we do believe that yes, the future is bright, the future is female, and the future is full of people of color! But we are also going beyond the rockstar young professional hire – we are looking at how we can make a difference in this world, and make a positive impact on culture as well.
Our success as a company starts with bringing in a diverse talent base, and to do that we need to attract the talent by being a part of the communities & culture that represent that talent.
I will leave you with an example of what it looks like when Diversity & Inclusion meets University Relations & Student Recruiting. Watch the recap video of The Opening Act || HBCU Conference that we hosted in 2016. This is what it means to be present in culture & communities; this is what it means to make a difference.
And to soundtrack this movement, Mike Taylor — Colours is definitely my go-to.
These are some of the great people we have teamed up with for 2017
- 20/20 Shift to providing education & access to students & young professionals of diverse backgrounds
- Lesbians Who Tech + Allies
- Howard University chapter of American Marketing Association (AMA)
- NYC Tech Talent Pipeline for development program in Engineering, focused on underserved & underrepresented talent.
- Pepp! – Mentorship program for young women interested in a career in IT
- Jobbsprånget – Initiative to integrate asylum seekers into the Swedish labor market