Project Include set out in 2016 to change the way the tech industry approaches diversity. Rather than identify underrepresented groups that are often the target of unfair hiring practices or the victims of discrimination on the job, the organization is attempting to teach CEOs and their teams how to foster environments of inclusion.
The 10th Annual Crunchies Award winner of the TechCrunch Include award was started by Erica Joy Baker, bethanye McKinney Blount, Tracy Chou, Laura I. Gómez, Y-Vonne Hutchinson, Freada Kapor Klein, Ellen Pao and Susan Wu. Tech, often thought of as the playground of the white, straight, cis male, has been called out in recent years for excluding the talents of underrepresented groups. For Project Include, the idea is to provide guidance in a collaborative fashion in order to educate CEOs so that diversity in tech becomes a given.
Baker, who is an engineer at Slack, and Pao, an investment partner at Kapor Capital, joined us in the TechCrunch studio last summer to talk with Megan Rose Dickey about their goals with, one of which is to recognize the importance of intersectionality.
“The thing that we saw happen when we first released was that a lot of companies were coming to us asking about women,” Baker said. “They just completely ignored the fact that there was anything to do with race in project include. It’s important for us to continue to be vocal and intentional about that specific thing that race is a big deal that we need to be focusing on.”
Pao, who is also the former CEO of Reddit, said, “I’m excited about 10 CEOs that we have in Project Include, because they’ve now made the statement that they want to address diversity and inclusivity in their companies,” said Pao. “And they’re willing to participate in this effort.
“It’s not until the CEOs really focus on this issue and prioritize it that you’re going to solve these hard problems and have the hard convos throughout the company that get resolved in the right way.”
Baker had a message for the tech CEOs who have decided to remain on President Trump’s advisory board: “You are on the wrong side of history.”
Featured Image: Ashleigh Richelle/Level Playing Field Institute for Project Include