Eight prominent female veterans of the technology industry have joined together to create an open source tool that will help push meaningful diversity & inclusion solutions for tech companies who are often lacking diversity and suffer for it. The idea behind the project first came from former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao, who sued former firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender dsicrimination. The motivating question for Pao was simple: “The standard mantra for every company on diversity is…’we’re working on it.’ Can you tell us what you are actually doing?”
She brought that idea to former Google engineer, Erica Baker, who in turn introduced Ms. Pao to Y-Vonne Hutchinson of ReadySet, a diversity solutions firm based in Oakland, California. It wasn’t long before the group of three more than doubled to a team of eight: Ms. Pao, Ms. Baker, Ms. Hutchinson, Bethanye McKinney Blount of CathyLabs, Tracy Chou from Pinterest, Laura I. Gomez of Atipica, Freada Kapor Klein of Kapor Capital, and angel investor Susan Wu.
Project Include will gain commitments from companies to measure the diversity of the workforce over time and share the data with other tech companies. A few companies have already joined the project.
Together they lead Project Include whose mission it is to “accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry.” The driving belief behind the project is that measurement and accountability of outcomes will help serve that acceleration. With Project Include, the group hopes to “provide our perspectives, recommendations, materials, and tools to help CEOs and their teams build a concrete strategy, framework, and plan with specific actions.”
First, according to the New York Times, they plan to focus on start-ups.