Measuring and Addressing Lack of Diversity in the Technology Channel

What actionable steps can the technology channel take to address lack of diversity? The answer, according to podcaster and MSP industry veteran Dave Sobel, involves actually measuring diversity in the channel and then taking concrete steps to improve on those metrics.

With those goals in mind, Sobel took a look at publicly available information from 100 channel companies. Those 100 channel companies, in turn, mention 876 channel leaders in their publicly available company information. Look more closely, and Sobel found that 82.3 percent of those channel leaders were White, 16.32 percent were non-White, 19.3 percent were Female, and only 1.8 percent were Black. The U.S. population, meanwhile, is 13.4 percent Black.

Sobel isn’t out to “shame” each individual channel-driven company that lags on diversity. Instead, he’s striving “baseline” where we are and put the aggregated data in front of channel influencers — folks like you. The very people who can take a hard look at how the channel operates, and those who can drive true change.

Sobel explains his methodology and goals in this video. The discussion about his research starts around the 2:21 mark, but I’ve included the full video for overall context:

After sharing the data, Sobel shares a range of suggested next-steps to close the diversity gap.

For a separate, ongoing look at diversity in the overall technology sector, check out this ongoing blog from ChannelE2E. That blog features diversity stats, initiatives and news from tech giants (Amazon, Apple, Cisco Systems, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and more) along with ongoing market research.

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    Dave Sobel:

    Thanks for covering this, Joe. In our industry, we measure so much of our businesses. The managed services business model is predicated on measurement. Yet when I went to look for this, I could not find the data. You cannot manage what you do not measure, so let’s measure.

    What’s particularly compelling to me is the fact that diverse-led companies outperform. Again, as an industry we search out Best In Class traits, or Best Practices. Here is another trait to look at.

    When doing the right thing and doing the profitable thing align, it needs to compel to action. That said, our industry does not have a track record of success so far, and so “doing more of the same” will simply not deliver the results we both need and want.

    Joe Panettieri:

    Dave: Thanks for the heads up regarding your research efforts. We will strive to cover ongoing updates, progress reports, setbacks (yes, we’ll see them), course corrections and more progress reports. ChannelE2E’s ongoing coverage of diversity, inclusion and social equality is compiled here.


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