This lesson is part of our regular Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion curriculum. On most Mondays, you will be expected to read a short lesson about that week's DEI topic. Then, on Tuesday, your instructor will lead a standup on that topic.
At Epicodus, we believe people should have opportunities to get great tech jobs - and feel included at those jobs, and at Epicodus - regardless of their background.
Students and workers from underrepresented groups face challenges that people from majority groups don't. This DEI curriculum won't solve all of the challenges they face, but we hope it will give them some tools to help navigate those challenges.
Students from majority groups often don't fully understand these challenges or what they can do to alleviate them. We hope this DEI curriculum will help them make Epicodus and their workplace more welcoming.
It turns out having a diverse workforce isn't just good for underrepresented groups: it also positively impacts a company's bottom line, not least of all because it helps them build products that better serve their customers. At Epicodus, we believe the most important reason for having a diverse workforce is because it’s the right thing to do. Beyond that, though, working towards a diverse workforce also provides benefits for tech companies and their customers.
This article from Forbes gives a dozen reasons why diversity is important in the tech field. The Forbes Technology Council, a group of executives, CTOs, and CIOs, provided this information. According to this group, a diverse workforce can:
Build products for everyone. A diverse team can better meet the needs of a diverse customer base. As the article notes, "If you just have a male team that develops a product, they may do a great job attracting male customers but may be alienating a lot of female customers because they were not present in the ideation and creation of the product." The same is true for differences in race, ability, and other social groups.
Solve problems faster. A diverse workforce brings a diversity of ideas and approaches, allowing teams to attack problems from many different angles.
Increase profits. Evidence shows that companies with higher gender diversity are more profitable than companies lacking in gender diversity.
Create a dynamic workplace culture. A good workplace culture attracts talent while a toxic culture leads to talent looking elsewhere for jobs.
Every Monday, when we get a new class of hires, I say to them, "I don't want you to come in here and think that you need to use 'blind' as a suffix. That you need to describe people as 'just my colleagues' or say things like, 'I don't see race. I don't see gender. I'm colorblind. Sexual-orientation blind.' In doing so you're neutralizing a part of a person that is an asset. I want you to see those characteristics and see them as adding value."
Regardless of whether you're in an under-represented or a majority group (or in both!), the "soft skills" you'll learn in the DEI curriculum are valued as much as coding skills in the industry, and your ability to develop these skills and work with people of all backgrounds will make you a better employee and more employable.
Lesson 32 of 61
Last updated March 17, 2021