MPR + MNTechDiversity

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Minnesota Public Radio is proud to join forces with Minneapolis-based interactive firm Clockwork, led by Nancy Lyons, in its movement to address the under-representation of LGBTQ, women and people of color in tech professions. Nancy explains what it’s all about in this one minute video.

Like many of the companies who signed this pledge, we struggle to attract and retain talented tech pros. We have some ideas why, but we’re likely missing the full picture. And while we’ve had inclusion & diversity goals in our strategic plan for years, we’re not making enough progress. We know we need to do more.

The problem is we don’t know what we don’t know.

That’s why we’re joining in, because collective knowledge is powerful. By signing this pledge, we’re adding to the collective momentum of a cultural shift that simply can’t happen in isolated geographic, industry or professional pockets. We’ll all be more effective as a whole.

From mntechdiversity.com:

Clockwork is asking agencies, corporations, small businesses, and software companies to join us in changing the workforce to be more inclusive of underrepresented communities like women, people of color, and LGBTQ.

Perhaps Minnesota Public Radio doesn’t strike you as a “tech company” but think about it: how is that audio reaching your ears? How many devices can you find us on? How do those live broadcasts sound so great – from all over the world?

And really, how can we pull off an entire day of programming (and host a dance party that night) in honor of Prince, within 24 hours of his passing?

We employ a lot of technical – and passionate – people. That’s how!

The public media industry, in general, lacks diversity. It’s been widely and accurately criticized on this point for years. We’re on a journey to address this within our own organization, but we can’t do it alone. We’re reaching out to partners, within and outside the industry, to gain momentum. That’s why we’re excited to join this initiative launched by Clockwork!

Full disclosure: Clockwork’s CEO Nancy Lyons is on MPR’s Board of Directors. Does this have anything to do with our decision to sign the pledge? Not really. Within about an hour of this post on LinkedIn, employees were forwarding it to each other, their managers, HR, and our CEO with comments like “Cool! We need to DO this!” That’s not politics, it’s galvanization. Nancy’s an influencer in her own right.

What does this all mean? I’d like to think it means we’re ready to be enlightened, vulnerable, and brave about admitting that we don’t have all the answers. Today we launched an internal working group of leaders and employees working in Digital Services, Information Technology, CRM and Human Resources, and we’ll be sharing updates here.

Learn more about the MN Tech Diversity Pledge here.