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A Letter From the President: Diversity in the Tech Industry

Ryan Weber
June 8, 2020

The murder of George Floyd is a horrific tragedy and one that has most recently laid bare the systemic racism driving the forces of power across our country. A resolution to this injustice can’t wait, and neither can these eight policy reforms designed to prevent police brutality. I encourage you to speak out in support of these reforms, as Kansas City is one of the few remaining cities to implement zero of these potentially life-saving policies.

Reform is essential, but as a white American, I must also examine my role in this systemic racism. The tech industry is not exempt from this examination. It lacks diversity, is dominated by white men, and as technology leaders, we too have participated in this problem.

The lack of representation in the tech industry is solvable even if all the solutions are not apparent today. We must strive for equitable access to Kansas City tech careers, regardless of race. This starts with a stronger representation of racial diversity on the KC Tech Council team and board of directors.

The KC Tech Council represents an industry desperate for skilled workers to fill stable jobs with above-average pay. Last month (May 2020), more than 2500 tech jobs were posted in Kansas City, and there are not enough workers with the required skills to fill these jobs. One clear answer to closing this skills gap is to attract and train a more diverse pool of skilled workers. In order to reach these goals, we need more pathways to build relationships and trust with communities of color.

I will not let this issue continue without actively participating in a solution, and I am grateful to be in a position to accelerate long-overdue change.

 

Signed,

Ryan Weber, President & CEO

KC Tech Council

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