Leslie May, Slack’s director of engineering is all about recruiting diverse talent. In May’s opinion, the tech industry needs to expand its net in order to find and hire a diverse selection of employees. To discover diverse talent, you have to go be willing to reach out to cities like Detroit, Richmond, or even Nashville to find them. It’s all about a company’s network. The bigger the network (in terms of location), the better the results.
Diversity quotas are another story. "I don’t want to have to talk about this again,“ Leslie May states. "I don’t believe in quotas, I think they’re inherently wrong and I think there are realistic solutions that don’t have quotas attached to it.” Although the statement is blunt and straight to the point, I wholeheartedly agree with. When quotas are enacted, hiring agents are more focused on meeting hiring requirements and less about skill. Quotas can lead to a bar lowering in order to meet them (not always, but the possibility is there).
The Slack team is going about tech diversity the right way. Talent can’t simply come from West and East coast schools. Companies have to look elsewhere in order to grant opportunities for as many qualified applicants as possible. Goals can be put in place to ensure progress, but quotas in my opinion do not help the way they are intended. Minority qualified applicants are out there, corporations have to be willing to look.