August 2020 Tech Upload
NEW Digital News
Diversity in IT
In recent months following George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis, diversity, and more importantly equity and inclusion, have become important stories sparking protests and conversations worldwide – sometimes even supplanting Covid-19.
When looking at the IT and tech fields, it’s pretty apparent that we can do better at attracting and retaining a more diverse group of tech skilled employees. That said, employers can’t hire applicants who don’t exist, or exist in numbers great enough to make a difference in the candidate pool.
That’s why the NEW Digital Alliance recently invited Art Munin, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs & Dean of Students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and faculty member for USC’s Race and Equity Center, to come and talk to our Higher Ed Committee.
As an initial discussion, we mostly discussed the broader issues rather than solutions – that will come later. Art challenged us to frame the issue in ways we hadn’t considered. It’s typical to ask “How do we attract diverse people?” But instead we should be asking “What have we done to drive them away?” When we look at our organizations and practices, we are often going to find something that communicates a lack of inclusion. A simple example of this could be in the physical space – do you have pictures of star performers on the walls that are all white males? The Chancellor at UW Oshkosh removed the pictures of previous chancellors outside his office as they didn’t reflect diversity – whether racial or gender.
It can be difficult for those who are leaders and have had success within an organization or field to imagine what might be problematic for diverse audiences because they themselves have had success in the environment. That can make it difficult to see how to change the system for those it’s not working for. Art shared the analogy of Michael Jordan as a coach. While he was a tremendous basketball player, he wasn’t able to effectively convey to others how to become great as it came very natural to him.
We were also challenged to set realistic number goals for diversity. We will follow up on this in future meetings as we discuss the data about higher ed enrollments and graduation rates that we collect every year. We currently collect data on gender diversity and moving forward we will look to expand this to racial or other types of diversity.
Why is the topic of diversity important to Northeast Wisconsin, and to our technology teams? First and foremost, Wisconsin is a “brain drain” state. More young educated individuals are leaving the state than entering. This means fewer job candidates overall for our companies regardless of position. When we then consider that more and more jobs are requiring digital skills and the growth in IT related jobs, we have to do better at reaching groups who are not currently highly represented in the tech sector in order for employers to have the talent they need for success. As the population of the country becomes more diverse, it becomes even more important to be attractive to those diverse populations. While we did not solve the world’s issues in the meeting with Art, we have started the journey toward a better tomorrow for everyone…one dance step at a time.
What We’ve Been Up To
In the past month, the NEW Digital Alliance has also:
- Continued our Innovation and Collaboration planning meeting with a kick-off meeting planned for August 13.
- Conducted the Breadth of Awareness kick-off meeting on July 8. The team had a great discussion and did some brainstorming on how to help create awareness of how technology can increase productivity within our organizations.
- Participated in New North’s ongoing Broadband grant discussions.
- Met with an exciting tech consulting startup with a mission to help build tech leaders in the region (we’d love to share more but are sworn to secrecy until they announce their launch!)
- Presented to the Mid-day Women’s Alliance on the state of digital skills and need for help increasing the skillset across the region, particularly for our displaced workers.
- Driven diversity discussion with our Higher ed committee. Guest speaker Art Munin helped us see how we need to focus on success factors and not deficits when discussing diversity initiatives.
- Continued discussions within the Talent Committee for how to migrate the NEW Connect IT event to an online platform. We’ve started researching tools that will allow attendees to register for and attend various breakout sessions and will make a decision by next month.
- Participated in statewide discussions to update the IT Career Pathways documents and make them more user friendly for high school students and their parents.
We are All In
The NEW Digital Alliance is All In to help Wisconsin move forward!
Gener8tor Upskilling: Technical Skill Training Program
Unemployed due to COVID-19? Need money to pay bills? Want to switch careers or develop a new set of skills?
gener8tor, a Wisconsin-based company that helps entrepreneurs launch startups, in partnership with New North and Microsoft is rolling out a new, FREE program called Upskilling. Upskilling, an online program for NE Wisconsin residents, will allow you to learn skills for and access in-demand job opportunities.
Ledgeview Partners Achieves the 2020/21 Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications
Ledgeview Partners is honored by Microsoft for achieving outstanding sales achievement and innovation. They have achieved the prestigious 2020/2021 Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications. Membership in this elite group is based on sales achievements that rank Ledgeview Partners in the top echelon of the Microsoft’s Business Applications global network of partners. Inner Circle members have performed to a high standard of excellence by delivering valuable solutions that help organizations achieve increased success.
How to Align Sales and Marketing Using CRM as the Hub - Webinar
Learn all about how your sales and marketing teams will benefit from collaborating through CRM in this upcoming Ledgeview Partners webinar on Wednesday, August 19 from 11-11:30 am.
In this webinar, Ledgeview Partners will show you how CRM plays a critical role as “The Hub” whether you are nurturing and scoring new leads from marketing-qualified to sales-ready, using mobile to stay connected in the field, or using customer analytics to identify target areas of opportunity.
CRM vs. Marketing Automation--What's the Difference?
Are you new to the world of CRM and marketing automation? Have you ever wondered how the two solutions really differ? Are you wondering if you need both to succeed? We will cover these questions and more in this upcoming webinar – don’t miss it!
In this 30-minute webinar on Wednesday, September 16 from Ledgeview Partners, we will examine the core competencies of CRM solutions (like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, etc) vs Marketing Automation (like Act-On, ClickDimensions, Pardot, etc) focusing on the strengths of each, defining their differences and discussing how these business tools work together to help companies achieve their business goals.
Cybersecurity for Business Training
The Invisible War at Your Doorstep – Cyber Threats and Defensive Options for Businesses
Cybersecurity is not a topic of future possibilities; it is a current reality. Companies of all sizes can find themselves the target of malicious efforts. But what exactly are these difference threats and who is behind them? More importantly, what can be done to prevent, prepare and respond? Learn what you can do to protect your business and what resources are available to you in Wisconsin.
Training is on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 from 8-10 am at the Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac Campus. This training event is $75 per person which includes materials and refreshments.
UW Green Bay Launches New Tech Training Pathway for Students
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is teaming up with Louisville-based tech company Interapt and global education provider General Assembly to launch a new tech training pathway for people in the Green Bay area. This program aims to reduce barriers to entry in tech and create new technology jobs.
With unemployment at an all-time high in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the software engineering program will provide tuition-free technical training to a class of 25 individuals, giving them an opportunity to develop the technical skills needed to kickstart a new career in data science, software development, digital marketing, UX design, robotic process automation, information technology and other tech related fields.