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For the third year in a row, TechTown is sharing diversity and inclusion data related to companies that are a part of the Diversity Pledge, based on results of an online survey conducted in April 2018.

Seventy percent of the companies’ Portland-based employees took part in the survey conducted by DHM Research, which shows slight progress in diverse hiring and highlights concerns about employee retention.  The report is posted on TechTown’s website with data presented in graphic format by Planet Argon. Among the key findings:

  • TechTown pledge companies have a higher percentage of women employees than the tech industry as a whole, according to survey results.
  • White women, men of color and women of color are better represented among employees hired since the pledge began in 2015
  • Different retention rates may be hampering the TechTown effort, particularly for women of color.  From 2016 to 2018, the representation of men grew from 54% to 58%; that of women fell from 43% to 38%. Tracking the cohort hired in the first year of the pledge from 2016 to 2018, the representation of men grew from 54% to 58% and that of women fell from 43% to 38%. Over the same timeframe, the representation of women of color dropped by half from 8% to 4%.
  • Those subject to negative workplace experiences are more likely to consider leaving their company; this is especially true for women and people of color. Women (13%) were more than twice as likely as men (5%) and people of color (15%) more than twice as likely as white people (7%) to have considered leaving their company due to treatment based on their identity. A fifth of women of color have considered leaving their company due to negative workplace experiences based on their identity.

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “Systemic change takes time and leadership. We’re doubling down on this work with a group of committed leaders and community partners to focus on the most effective steps – increasing internships, organizational culture change, scalable retention and recruitment policies – to achieve the vision of a more inclusive, diverse industry.”

Su Embree, president of DHM Research, said, ““The annual TechTown survey offers a clear look at the demographics and workplace experiences of employees and provides direct feedback to employers. Companies that participate each year will begin to see trends they can use to make workplace improvements that center insights from their own employees: an important process to support equity and inclusion in the workplace.”

A key goal of the pledge is to share collective data on the demographic representation of gender and race within pledge company offices in the Portland metro area.  With three years of data now available, the TechTown collaborative can use the findings to drive decision-making around company processes and priorities.

The TechTown collaboration originated as a collective effort to raise awareness of Portland as a place where tech companies and workers could grow and thrive. In June 2015 the TechTown Diversity Pledge reoriented the effort toward building a more equitable, diverse and inclusive industry via a public pledge and corresponding actions to achieve this vision.

Plans for the coming year will focus on building new and stronger partnerships throughout the Portland community and creating more inclusive work environments. Continuing activities include the CEO Roundtables, peer-to-peer networking sessions, further engagement through online resources, scaling of the AllyShift program to train 300 people in the industry, and deployment of a managers’ series on how to be more effective and inclusive.

About Us
Prosper Portland creates economic growth and opportunity for Portland. Our vision is to make Portland one of the most globally competitive, healthy, and equitable cities in the world by investing in job creation, encouraging broad economic prosperity, and fostering great places throughout the city. We aspire to be a workplace of choice with passionate staff excelling in an open and empowering environment and sharing a commitment to our collective success.