Diversity & Inclusion
DEI / Year in review

What if we were the most inclusive? No. 3 #dctech trend of 2016

In 2016, D.C. set some ambitious diversity and inclusion goals. Time to get to work.

Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during the groundbreaking at the Howard University incubator. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

As the year draws to a close we’re looking back at all that has happened in #dctech — this post is part of our 2016 year in review series. See the full list here.

Diversity in tech — the lack of it and how to solve this problem — is a hot topic across the country. In 2016 D.C. took an interest in inclusion, and specifically being a leader in the category.
At the grassroots level, 2016 saw diversity-in-tech groups like Black Female Founders and Technicolor (an umbrella org like DCFemTech, but for people of color in tech) spring up. Events like Diversitech brought the conversation into an IRL forum.
Meanwhile, at the government level, Mayor Muriel Bowser made moves on an “inclusive innovation” incubator on the Howard University campus. Toward the end of the year the District government also released an Inclusive Innovation Report (its first ever), detailing the strides the city has made on diversity and inclusion and the distance it has left to go.
We were excited to see these kind of developments in bringing more and more diverse individuals into the tech fold. As we’ve written, D.C. has its work cut out if it truly wants to be a “shining, diverse example of tech in America.
But here’s the thing, and we mean this in the most loving way possible — frankly (with the exception of inclusion programs doing fantastic work) the moves made on diversity and inclusion in 2016 boil down to a lot of talk. D.C. needs more action in 2017 in order to become that fabled hotspot for inclusive innovation.
Let’s take off the gloves.

Companies: Howard University / DCFemTech

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