On the heels of 2020 and mass lockdowns across the country, most employers had to overhaul their business models and restructure their workforce. As communications and the bulk of operations transitioned to online, it became clear that a distributed and diverse workforce was no longer a luxury but a necessity. Though this notion was constructed while grappling with the pandemic, it has quickly become a new standard. The benefits are widespread, and there is support from numerous organizations to continue promoting diversified and distributed workforces.
Benefits of Diversifying and Distributing Tech Workforce
A distributed and diversified tech workforce can contribute to economic, environmental, and societal positive impacts. In the case of economics, a diversified workforce means less money funneled into office space, materials, and money spent on staff if a receptionist or similar role is no longer required. Societal or personal benefits include happier employees as it has been discovered that people prefer a remote working model. Being in their element, or rather out of a stale office setting, may equate to more productivity and happier employees with more work-life balance. All of these factors contribute to better and more efficient work.
The answer is clear when it comes to environmental benefits, less commuting time, fewer materials like paper, and no need for office space. The subsequent water and electricity mean fewer emissions and a greener state of work. Another key benefit of diversifying the workforce, specifically in working remotely, is that a business shifts from limited talent in their immediate area to talent across the country, even the world sometimes, rather than those in the direct radius talent pool. This can lead to innovative ideas, and in some situations, this shift may also result in less funding dedicated to staffing overall as more talented employees are able to do the duties of what two or more previously performed.
Workforce Development & the Nonprofit Sector
The nonprofit sector employs a large number of Americans. For reference, an estimated 1 in 10 Americans is directly employed by a nonprofit or work in a nonprofit sector supporting position. With that, workforce development, which aims to train more Americans and prepare them for job placement, is more important than ever.
While the pandemic crippled the world, more people rely on nonprofit services to survive, which means the nonprofit sector needs skilled and qualified workers to fulfill that. Workforce development is able to thoroughly prepare employees and arm nonprofits with an eligible group of people that can help them navigate the shift to remote working, something that many nonprofits were not focused on previously.
How Charitable Foundations Support Workforce Development
While many foundations aim to prepare a new wave of workers for employment in the nonprofit sector, it is not inexpensive nor an easy task. Thankfully, many organizations, from small charitable foundations like We Raise, to major conglomerates like Bank of America, or similar companies with charitable foundations, have been working tirelessly to raise funds for workforce development.
Especially notable is the push to include minorities and previously excluded communities in workforce development efforts. Helping to raise struggling groups by providing job training and placement allows for economic development in communities that need it most and innovation. Groups such as We Raise accept donations for workforce development with the hopes of increasing skill to communities, letting economic flourishment happen as a byproduct, all with the goal of ending income and job inequality.
Examples of Nonprofits Supporting Diverse Tech Workforce
When it comes to the tech workforce, many nonprofits are aimed at diversifying, especially so in recent years as the benefits of a diverse workforce become more apparent. In fact, there has been a forceful push to include more qualified individuals in the tech workforce across the country. Examples include young girls being encouraged to participate in the STEM field with mainstream media coverage. As a result of this early introduction to youth and additional campaigning for women in STEM, specifically technology, women of all backgrounds continue to infiltrate and thrive in a once male-dominated field.
As technology continues to grow more advanced, those of all backgrounds are needed to ensure it is usable and efficient. Foundations that contribute to educating a new wave of eligible workers from diverse backgrounds ensure that the demand is met and the tech industry continues to flourish.