news-survey082118-01

Tiffanie Stanard

A new survey has been launched to collect data in an effort to address issues around racial and gender diversity gaps in Philadelphia’s tech community.

A coalition of stakeholders has launched the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmark Survey, which seeks to collect, analyze and share the first-ever, dedicated, DEI-focused data and information set for the Philadelphia tech/startup community.

“If we have the data in context we can identify actionable items to ensure that all companies regardless of the background of their founder has equal opportunity for economic success here in Philly,” explained Tiffanie Stanard, an organizer with Open Access Philly.

The survey stems from a frustration driven discussion at last year’s Philly Startup Leaders’ Diversity Dinner and the events leading up to it.

The collective behind the survey is led by nonprofit Open Access Philly, with participation from Philly Startup Leaders, tech startup Guru, Mogulette and Media Bureau, Inc.

“There were a lot of prior events that happened in the city that were supposed to focus on diversity but didn’t really capture what was needed,” explained Stanard.

“Some data was collected but really wasn’t really analyzed and turned into actionable items, so there were a lot of groups that heard the frustration of the entire startup community around the lack of DEI – not only for founders but for employees as well, so the collaborative initiative came from that.”

The new survey is geared toward advisors, board members, employees, founders, investors, leadership teams and vendors from tech companies, small business and large corporations. The organizers expect to receive 1,000 responses.

“We want everyone to take the survey from your perspective of where you think your company is because if you’re the leader you’re not going to say necessarily that you’re bad or good but your employee may,” Stanard said.

She noted some firms are diverse, while some have no diversity at all and some are just starting.

“We want to see where everyone is and analyze that information and turn it into insights and resources for those groups to become more diverse or hire from within the community,” she said.

“Everyone has different levels of where they are, so we want to create targeted resources for the community — whether you are a founder or an employer — of ways to really help you grow your DEI and take insights from the people who are doing it correctly,” she added.

The survey will be followed by a series of small workshops in the fall, where company leaders can analyze data from the survey.

To access the survey visit https://bit.ly/2P6NMEL

ajones@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5747

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