Portland tech takes action over diversity

A number of new initiatives are improving local hiring practices

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Feb 3, 2017, 6:27 PM

Changing the face of Portland tech.

Despite being at a historic disadvantage given the city’s demographics, Portland’s tech community is redoubling its efforts to promote diversity within the industry.

JLL National Research Director Patricia Raicht has more on Portland’s commitment to workplace diversity:

Local intiatives

Portland tech diversity pledge

Notable local firms like Cozy, Elemental, Jama, Puppet and Simple signed the pledge and are taking action through education and program development. But that’s not all. They’re also using measurement metrics to show real progress in the increase of women and minority hires.

Startup PDX Challenge

This public private partnership launched by the Portland Development Commission (PDC) connects diverse founders to the city’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

It assists businesses for one year through their early-stage growth period with up to $25,000 in a convertible note or low interest loan, free rent, legal services and marketing, as well as access to mentors and advisors via a partnership with the Portland Incubator Experiment.

One requirement for companies interested in the program is to have a plan to scale approximately 50% of sales outside of Portland to a national or international market.

iUrban Teen

This organization partners with local tech and higher ed to bring STEM-focused education to underrepresented youth at STEM summits and career days. Based around a three-pillar approach that seeks to engage teens, these all-day immersion events reveal the variety of careers youth can choose from within the broader STEM world.

Research and author: Patricia Raicht, Tim Harrison | Editor: Michael Cronin