The senseless killings of Black Americans in the headlines, such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others, have understandably led to civic action and visible protests around the country as Americans everywhere, of all races and walks of life, are exercising their right to free speech. Worldwide, millions are now speaking out against systemic racism in our society.
As a result, we are witnessing a sea of change and I wanted to take a moment to share my own recent reflections. I have been thinking of how to embrace the realities of today beyond simply condemning the crimes committed, a question we can all explore as we come together prepared to listen, learn and engage in community conversations around issues of race, fairness and equity. It is imperative that we approach these conversations with an open mind, ensuring a dialogue and not an argument, so that each of our voices are heard. I also believe this moment is an opportunity for each person to look inward, examining our own bias and how we can dismantle that bias. For example, acknowledging that Black lives truly matter. It’s not enough to NOT be racist; we must strive to be anti-racist. This means actively calling out racism and working to improve the lives of oppressed people. As part of this, we have a lot of reading and listening to do.
I believe that dialogue is needed to drive peaceful resolutions during this unprecedented time, as we are living through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. A human’s right to keep living, no matter the race, should never be a political stance. The values at the cornerstone of InterVision, specifically “Do the Right Thing” and “Challenge the Status Quo,” call on us to engage in the moment. Now, more than ever, is the time to put these values on the forefront of our lives and actions. Change does not happen when we are comfortable or complacent. InterVision will be steadfast in our commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and tireless in our efforts to become a more welcoming place to be employed. The percentage of Black employees in the IT space continues to be far too small, and InterVision is, unfortunately, a reflection of the wider industry with our Black-identifying employees making up just 3% of our employee base. This is unacceptable – and I see it as an opportunity to hold ourselves accountable during the hiring and promoting process as we forge into the future.
We need to better integrate our HR and recruiting processes with a goal of DEI via a combination of new candidate sources and an enhanced recruiting process that emphasizes diversity. Changes to our hiring and promotion practices is more needed than ever, so that we can actively source Black individuals for our team. As part of taking steps in this direction and to identify additional areas for improvement in our organization, InterVision has created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team, comprised of multi-gender, race and nationality employees within InterVision, so that we can determine, with their guidance, how best to cement diversity as a core foundation for our growth.
InterVision is committed to being an anti-racist company. Racism and prejudice are not tolerated. We must be a company that embraces, accepts, and celebrates individuals from all walks of life. We believe that bettering our society begins with bettering ourselves. This starts with having uncomfortable conversations around DEI both among our leadership and employees. More widely, we have been trying to do our part to shift perceptions in the IT space, hosting panel events and podcasts on the topic, as well as exploring our thoughts in media publications like Forbes and identifying additional areas where we can help. We rolled out a Civic Day to all employees asking them to take an extra day off throughout the year to give back in a way that is authentic to them. Our ability to move forward as a team gives me hope, and I look forward to enacting change together.
I invite you to visit these resources and learn alongside the InterVision team and our network.
- Podcast: “Race in Tech – Taking action” with Terry Morris, National President of BDPA (formerly Black Data Processing Associates)
- Podcast: Diversity in Tech with Lamont Hatcher, CEO of AIS and Wayne Patrick CRO of AIS
- On-Demand Event Recording: Race in Tech panel discussion hosted by the Indy CIO Network and sponsored by InterVision and AIS