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Building a Diverse

and Inclusive Workforce

A workforce that is diverse and inclusive is critical to the success of companies and strength of communities.

Tech is building a more inclusive and diverse workforce to help businesses stay competitive and better reflect the communities and world we live in. Through academic partnerships and recruitment programs, tech companies are helping attract and retain the best and brightest from all backgrounds.

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In 2017, Google partnered with Howard University to launch Howard West, an immersive program designed to train engineering undergraduates at historically black universities and colleges in the skills needed for a career in tech. During the program, ... Read More

In 2017, Google partnered with Howard University to launch Howard West, an immersive program designed to train engineering undergraduates at historically black universities and colleges in the skills needed for a career in tech. During the program, students attend classes at the Googleplex campus in Mountain View, California where senior Google engineers and Howard University faculty teach coding and computer science. After a 3-month pilot, Google expanded Howard West to a year-long program and increased enrollment from 26 students to more than 70 in students in 2018.

Lauren Clayton

Lauren Clayton was a junior computer science student at Howard University when she applied to Howard West. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Lauren was looking to gain not only the skills needed to become a software engineer but mentorship as well. At Howard West, she gained both. Howard West provided training and networking from current Google employees. The experience taught her how to continue outside research to support her studies, increased her academic and professional skills in computer science, and put her on a path to getting a job following graduation.

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Oath, the National Disability Leadership Alliance, and Getty images launched The Disability Collection in order to change the way disabilities are depicted in the media. People with disabilities make up 20 percent of the population, but only ... Read More

Oath, the National Disability Leadership Alliance, and Getty images launched The Disability Collection in order to change the way disabilities are depicted in the media. People with disabilities make up 20 percent of the population, but only 2 percent of images seen in the media. By publishing this collection and producing a comprehensive set of guidelines on how to authentically portray people with disabilities, Oath hopes to encourage more photographers to change the way they operate.

Ace Ratcliff

When people with disabilities look at the media, they don’t often see themselves. “What you’re frequently seeing is this idea of disabled as lesser, disabled as something that needs to be fixed,” says Ace Ratcliff, who was diagnosed with dysautonomia and mast cell activation syndrome. “I don’t need to be fixed from what I am. I just want to be included.”

That’s why Ace joined us in launching the Disability Collection. In partnership with Getty Images and the National Disability Leadership Alliance, Oath sought to change the way people with disabilities are represented in the media. They hosted a photoshoot to authentically capture and reflect the lives of people with disabilities—people who make up 20 percent of our population, but only 2 percent of the images in our media.

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Nearly 85 percent of autistic individuals are unemployed or are overqualified for their current positions, but SAP is welcoming them to exciting careers in tech. In 2013, SAP launched Autism at Work as part of its belief that companies are made ... Read More

Nearly 85 percent of autistic individuals are unemployed or are overqualified for their current positions, but SAP is welcoming them to exciting careers in tech. In 2013, SAP launched Autism at Work as part of its belief that companies are made stronger through a diverse, inclusive workplace. Currently active in 12 countries with more than 150 employees on the autism spectrum, the program evaluates candidates not through a series of interviews, but through practical exercises where candidates have an opportunity to solve problems and collaborate with others in a real-world setting. This creates a space where job candidates with autism can shine. By inviting employees who have historically been excluded from the workforce, Autism at Work allows SAP access to previously untapped potential and perspectives.

Dennis Pan

As a person on the spectrum, in addition to having physical disabilities, Dennis Pan knows all too well the challenges facing neurodiverse job candidates. He was diagnosed with autism in 2014, providing an explanation for the difficulties he experienced in social settings, in understanding body language and facial expressions, and in connecting with other people… all important aspects in the traditional job interviews with which he struggled for many years. As a result of those challenges, Dennis found himself in unfulfilling jobs that did not make use of his creativity or the skills that earned him a degree in Statistics from San Jose State University.

In 2015 that all changed for Dennis. He joined SAP in Palo Alto through the company’s pioneering Autism at Work program, which upends the traditional interview experience for a practical test of analytical skills. Dennis demonstrated an eye for detail and an aptitude for analytics, leading to employment as a full-time quality assurance specialist for SAP Ariba.

He is now one of many colleagues across 12 countries in the SAP Autism at Work program, working with the support of mentors and company leadership to deliver on SAP’s mission of making the world run better and helping improve people’s lives. Dennis puts it best: “My work at SAP adds meaning to my life in ways I could not have imagined.”