Blog

TAO Commits to Diversity Pledge Statewide

Technology Association of Oregon
November 02, 2017


Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) continues to raise awareness for its diverse community members by including them as event participants, panelists, speakers and moderators in its programming.  As 2018 approaches, TAO will continue this diversity initiative throughout the entirety of its programming.  

As a host of 70+ events each year, TAO has the opportunity to reach a broad and large audience within our region and the tech community.  A representative of the industry and original signer of the TechTown Diversity Pledge, TAO also has a unique and regular venue in which to share progress of diversity initiatives across our collective ecosystem.  Because of our position and the number of attendees we see throughout the year, we have decided to target the following KPIs:

  • Create and share a diversity and equity statement

  • Set a minimum of 30% diverse voices on stage for TAO programming over a 12 month period

  • Reach a goal of 6000 attendees among TAO programming with the revised diversity commitment

  • Attend 75% or more of Diversity Pledge meetings and events

  • Partner with at least four  community organizations that serve underrepresented populations with the objective of utilizing their expertise to help our tech companies and increasinge diverse attendance at TAO programs

  • Provide discount, or comp tickets through community partners for TAO programming

Partner with groups in Portland that can assist with hiring and career advancement for underrepresented communities;’ is not only the first action within the Pledge, but one that TAO is particularly looking forward to elevating within te tech community.  We feel as though we are in a unique position to partner with organizations that cultivate educational and employment opportunities for minorities and underserved communities more broadly and share the success and best practices learned with our tech community.

TAO strives to be an example and catalyst for the regional tech community.  If you have implemented diverse practices in your business, have an introduction you would like to make to help us along the way with community partners, or have a success story of your organization involved with the Diversity Pledge, please email Theresa Jelderks.

The local tech community celebrates the growth of our companies and workers, but we know there  is a long way to go when it comes to collectively improving diversity and inclusion in our industry. TAO was thrilled to introduce the first female emcee, Monica Enand, at our nationally recognized Oregon Technology Awards in 2016 and our ur excitement increased this past year when, Jill Nelson of Ruby Receptionists, was selected as the Technology Executive of the Year.

With your help, we look forward to extending the momentum from the Oregon Technology Awards to other TAO programming, and providing the community insight on our KPI outcomes, over the years to come.