Lesson Monday

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.

Why are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Important?

We covered the basic definition of DEI in our Introduction to DEI lesson. But why is DEI important?

At Epicodus, we believe promoting DEI in the tech field is the right thing to do, because people should have opportunities to get great tech jobs regardless of their background. But having a diverse workforce isn't just good for underrepresented groups: it also positively impacts a company's bottom line.

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:

  • Solve problems faster. A diverse workforce brings a diversity of ideas and approaches, allowing teams to attack problems from many different angles.

  • Build products for everyone. A diverse team can better assess the needs of a diverse customer base.

  • 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.

When it comes to understanding why companies prioritize diversity, it's important to understand that diversity benefits everybody, not just underrepresented groups. We believe the same is true for Epicodus as well, not just the tech community at large.

According to Maxine Williams, the Global Chief Diversity Officer at Facebook:

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."

Ultimately, diversity is an asset, not a liability - and diversity makes both Epicodus and other organizations better places to work.

This week's talk will cover some of the benefits of DEI - as well as why it's important for you to be familiar with and aware of DEI efforts in the tech industry - even if you aren't a member of an underrepresented community.

This is because soft skills are valued as much as coding skills in the industry, and your ability to develop good soft skills - and your ability to support coworkers of all backgrounds - will make you a better employee and more employable.

Lesson 32 of 61
Last updated July 30, 2020