Giving Compass' Take:

• Chatelle Lynch explains how companies can intentionally recruit diverse candidates to fill the tech talent gap that prevents companies from reaching their full potential.

• How can philanthropy support companies that want to increase the diversity of their staff?

• Learn 3 ways to combat AI bais

As a chief human resources officer in the tech industry, I know firsthand that the talent gap is real. In the cybersecurity segment alone, experts predict some 2 million roles will go unfilled by 2019. And in an ultra-competitive, fast-moving industry addressing diversity in the recruiting mix can be a real challenge for many hiring managers.

But by putting diversity efforts in the back seat, companies deprive themselves of the rich creativity and ingenuity that fuels technology innovation. Building a diverse and inclusive team isn't just the right thing to do — it’s a competitive weapon that simply can’t be ignored.

Sadly, diversity numbers haven’t just plateaued in places; they’ve dropped, steadily.

A recent Pew Research Center report shows that although the number of computer-based roles has grown 338 percent in the United States since 1990 — when nearly a third (32 percent) of those in computer-related roles were female — only a quarter (25 percent) of those new positions were filled by women. And the problem is even greater when we look at underrepresented communities and people of color: The same Pew report shows that African Americans represent only 9 percent of the STEM workforce, for example, and Latinx workers just 7 percent.

Here are my top three tips to make a difference:

  1. Make diversity part of every conversation: Diversity is not a checkbox exercise; it must be part of your organization's DNA and embedded in everything you do.
  2. Rethink the resume: Only 23 percent of cybersecurity professionals believe an IT degree adequately prepares students for a role in their industry. And yet, most of today’s job descriptions request a bachelor’s degree.
  3. Own up to your biases: The first step toward overcoming unintentional bias is recognizing it. Does your team currently look strikingly similar in education, race, ability, or gender?

Read the full article on diversity in tech by Chatelle Lynch at Mashable.