The tech sector is committed to achieving greater diversity, inclusion, and equity. Making progress towards that aspiration has been slow. Fortunately, the future is brighter than the past, in part because of the partnerships we have built over the years and will celebrate this week as a part of the 48th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference and the 2018 Leadership Conference for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
I approach this week’s celebration and our work on diversity with my own biases. Specifically, I think the world will be enriched by technology innovations and our innovations will be enriched by greater diversity. I am a father to two intelligent, kind, and hardworking daughters who happen to be black. If they want to embark on a career in technology, they should have every opportunity possible available to them. This is true for all people of color.
The reality is we will not achieve our potential unless all of humanity has the opportunity to help shape the future. That future - if we are able to attract a diverse workforce - will be jaw-dropping. We are on the precipice of leveraging neural networks, quantum computing, bio-technology to accelerate curing disease, reduce traffic fatalities, and save our planet. And as we race down this path, we must take concrete steps to ensure the road is open for all people to be a part of it.
It is in that vein that ITI and our member companies are forging partnerships and creating new, outside the box programs that will make our workforce more diverse. We are forging partnerships with the Hispanic National Bar Association to recruit more Hispanics into intellectual property law, creating HBCU scholarship programs alongside the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, partnering with HBCUs like Howard University, Florida A&M University and North Carolina Agriculture and Technical (A&T) State University, to create a pipeline of intelligent and energetic minds who are well-prepared to work in the tech sector.
By employing the same innovative solutions and rigor to diversity and inclusion that we bring to our research, we can get it right. We know that there is still much work to be done. We will continue to seriously address this issue within our companies and commit to partnering with members of Congress, non-profits, academia, and more to ensure it happens.