Why diversity matters and is a part of our DNA

Diversity is such an important part of leveling the professional playing field, which means including women, people of color, and those of every sexual orientation in the workforce, and empowering them in leadership positions. We know this personally as Tulsa is a place where diversity is part of the city’s DNA, and the work we are doing through inTulsa is focused on building a truly diverse and equitable workforce in the city. Diversity is a pillar of our mission as well as the secret sauce that enables us to succeed. 

There are a number of organizations in our Tulsa based network that are working to accelerate a diverse workforce such as Atento Capital, which is investing in women and black founders, who are the future of tech entrepreneurship. Build in Tulsa is playing a central role in revitalizing Tulsa as the center of black enterprise and a reborn Black Wall Street, and their efforts augment the work we’re doing at inTulsa. We are stronger together, and venture capital, as well as public-private partnerships, strengthen the work we’re doing in placing diverse candidates in the tech roles of the future.

Diversity is not just our identity, but also a focus of ours when we look to place candidates. We are driven by creating an equitable share for everyone, but we also do it because it makes better business sense. This is not just reflected in placement, but as an organization inTulsa is diverse, and as a result, everyone has a seat at the table. As we close out 2021, it is worth recapping how diversity is a central pillar in our economic development strategy for Tulsa.

Having different points of view is key in leadership

A big challenge many organizations face is that they deal with groupthink, and it does not just impact their decision-making, but also impacts their ability to connect with who they’re looking to service or sell to. As the business climate is changing, it is key for any business looking to succeed that they cultivate diverse leadership.

In the past, the mostly homogeneous backgrounds of those making decisions crafted a certain business culture. Employees also looked to leadership in their organizations to see where to take direction from. As this article indicates: “A Boston Consulting Group study looked at companies with diverse management teams and found that, on average, they enjoyed a 19 percent increase in revenue compared to their less diverse counterparts.” In that regard, the makeup of inTulsa, and our network of organizations, is reflected in this diverse profile, from the leadership on down.

It is the future 

At inTulsa, we’re humbled to be a part of building the future. The future of the workforce belongs to members of diverse groups in this country, and the United States is clearly moving in that direction. There is a benefit to being the new kid on the block, in that we are not encumbered by past dogma and thinking. Best to get on the rocket ship now and lean into the trends already taking place as the future belongs to those who build it.

Looking toward 2023 and beyond, Gen Z and future generations belong to the most ethnically diverse population that America has ever seen. As William Fey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute writes, “Most noteworthy is the increased diversity in the younger portion of the population. In 2019, for the first time, more than half of the nation’s population under age 16 identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Among this group, Latino or Hispanic and Black residents together comprise nearly 40% of the population.”

He further elaborates on this trend that “racial and ethnic diversity will be an essential ingredient of America’s future. The mostly white baby boomer culture that defined the last half of the 20th century is giving way to a more multihued, multicultural nation.”

It is key in helping build your organization

For organizations to grow, they need to be strengthened by a tapestry of people from different places and with different viewpoints. Oftentimes we view the world from our own point of view, and when other views are not vocalized, we become complacent with what we think to be “the truth,” when in reality we’re not seeing the whole picture and possible opportunities.

Organizations who are diverse succeed, as these powerful stats from Fundera indicate that “inclusive companies are 120% more likely to hit financial goals” and that “diverse teams are 70% more likely to capture new markets.” There are real-world implications to opening the tent and allowing diverse professionals to join, and empowering them to share their perspective.

The prospect of what 2023 will bring excites us, as we’ll continue to further our efforts to build Tulsa into a diverse tech center and model for the future of America.