The tech industry’s diversity problem won’t get better unless tech companies unite to solve it, Dell exec urges at World Economic Forum

Brian Reaves, Dell's chief diversity and inclusion officer, at the Watermark Conference for Women in February 2018.

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Brian Reaves, Dell’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, at the Watermark Conference for Women in February 2018.
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Marla Aufmuth / Getty
  • Solving the tech industry’s diversity problem will require a collective effort across companies, according to Dell diversity and inclusion head Brian Reaves.
  • Reaves emphasized the need for collaboration in an interview with Business Insider.
  • Dell itself recently partnered with 20 companies to form a new Women in Technology Consortium.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND – As the tech industry continues to struggle to improve diversity, Dell diversity and inclusion head Brian Reaves argued that companies must work together with a shared goal of improving representation of women and people of color.

Reaves made the case for collaboration in an interview with Business Insider during the World Economic Forum in Davos Tuesday.

“If you really want to continue to be a leader in whatever type of innovation, you must have more inclusive teams,” Reaves said. “We’re not going to do it alone.”

Diversity – especially gender diversity – is still lacking at most tech companies. Dell itself recently committed to increasing the women in its workforce from 30% today to 50% by the end of the decade. The company has also formed a new partnership with 20 companies for the Women in Technology Consortium, which aims to identify roadblocks that prevent women from working in tech.

“We’re actually going to use technology and analytics to help not only ourselves and each of our companies, but ultimately other companies do things like demystify technology for young girls,” Reaves said.

According to Reaves, improving diversity in tech may hinge on increasing outreach to underrepresented groups in high school and college programs. Reaves also emphasized the importance of recruiting from a more diverse pool of potential employees.

“College is very expensive for many. So there’s a socioeconomic element that biases against certain groups of people. We need to expand in our aperture with regards to where we go and find talent, and look at nontraditional things like apprenticeships,” he said. “I think we can all do better.”