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Tech should intentionally seek out black talent, says Splunk rep

The technology industry needs to seek out black talent, or create pipelines for young people from minority backgrounds to be given tech opportunities, says Antoinette Raines, LMS administrator, global field enablement at Splunk.

Speaking at Splunk.conf 2018 in Florida, Raines explained how the firm is trying to engage with young black people, and announced the upcoming launch of a black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employee resource group within the company.

“I believe we in tech have a responsibility to get in contact with black talent and make sure we bring them in,” she said.

Raines pointed out that there will be an estimated one million unfilled tech jobs in the US alone by 2020. Many believe that the skills gap and the diversity divide in the technology industry could solve each other if given the opportunity.

“What are we going to do to change that number, and how are we going to get more black youth into science, technology, engineering and maths [Stem] careers?” she said.

“Something that Splunk is doing to help fill that one million is they have a huge drive to have more under-represented individuals, specifically Latinos, blacks, people from the pride community, so diversity and inclusion is huge to Splunk and it’s very important to me.”

Raines highlighted three ways the technology industry can do more to encourage more people from ethnic minorities into the industry – improve the hiring and inclusion of black talent, intentionally tap into, or create, pipelines for black talent, and make leadership aware of the benefits of cultural and regional skillsets.

As part of the Splunk4Good programme, the data firm allows veterans to gain Splunk accreditation and certification for free.

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By Clare McDonald

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