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Leveraging Upskilling and Reskilling in Your DEI Strategy 

As many businesses are starting to return to some form of in-person work, many tech organizations are considering how to move forward with a hybrid or flexible work plan. This has provided a perfect opportunity to make beneficial organizational change, with both upskilling and reskilling initiatives and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts becoming top priorities in 2021 towards a DEI strategy.

When considering DEI strategy, it is important for business leaders to discuss how to effectively meet all employees’ upskilling and reskilling needs. For a business with a heterogeneous group of workers with different preferences for what career growth may look like, DEI initiatives tied with training can provide a competitive advantage. Though business leaders have many priorities, support for technology upskilling or reskilling has becoming increasingly necessary as an effective talent retention strategy, actively working to encourage growth for all employees.

DEI Strategy: Upskilling and Reskilling

Upskilling and reskilling employees enables them to progress towards career goals within their interests, which is especially beneficial for tech roles, where new software and platforms are constantly going through iterations. During these times of rapid digital transformation and the rise of automation, upskilling and reskilling your talent not only instills a value of having a growth mindset, but also allows your talent to professionally develop at the same rate as your organization’s innovation. While learning and development may have typically been managed separately from DEI initiatives, now is the perfect time to consider how to connect the two within one strategic plan, allowing both efforts to interact and create the most impactful outcomes.

Some key factors can affect a diverse workforce’s abilities to complete technology upskilling and reskilling programs. Certain members of the workforce may not have the same availability or time to spend on training as others, especially if they have responsibilities as caretakers, or if they must prioritize other time-consuming activities. Studies have shown that the rise of automation will have a disproportionate impact on women and employees of color. It’s imperative that organizations are forward-thinking when it comes to their future of work, keeping diversity and equity in mind, ensuring that you’re upskilling talent for future opportunities is integral to your leadership and DEI strategies.

Additionally, some members of a diverse workforce are affected by the documented wealth gaps related to race and gender, and may not have the financial resources to cover the costs of a technology upskilling program, especially if they are supporting extended family or are repaying debts such as student loans. It is important to help employees feel supported by the company, especially if they are part of a marginalized community that has historically lacked effective mentorship, access to leadership opportunities, or structured plans for career growth. Learning disabilities can also impact some members of a workforce. All of these employees’ needs should be evaluated and integrated when determining a DEI strategy.

As technology has helped enable work-from-home solutions throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, many companies have been seeking out virtual trainings as a method to upskill their employees. Businesses like Momentum can provide the solution to some of the obstacles faced by a diverse workforce with a more equitable approach to technology upskilling and reskilling, supporting tech workers’ learning through a variety of flexible training programs. Momentum’s programs provide opportunities for software development talent to build and grow skills, confidence, and leadership. We’re helping visionary companies deploy new and inclusive strategies to find, develop and retain the best technology talent. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your team’s corpo­rate training needs and DEI strategy.

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Contributions by Courtney Loughran

Tags: Diversity + Inclusion, Organizational Effectiveness, Organizational Health