Inclusion starts at the leadership level: Leading with a seat at the table

Inclusion starts at the leadership level: Leading with a seat at the table

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Hiring diverse talent in tech has been a primary goal for many companies over the past few years, but the industry still has a lot of room to improve.

Once the talent is acquired, companies need to nurture and build up the skillsets to prepare today’s and tomorrow’s leaders, according to Angie Perez Thomas (pictured), area sales leader of enterprise at Amazon Web Services Inc.

“This includes sponsoring, coaching and providing opportunities where this talent can have a seat at the table,” Thomas said. “By doing so, we’re helping this talent build their skillsets to learn what questions are being asked within the room — how are others communicating with each other? — so that they can build the skillset to not only have a seat at the table, but can be leading with that seat at the table.”

Perez Thomas spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Lisa Martin for the “Special Program Series: Women of the Cloud,” during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how to build a diverse workforce, how to create a more inclusive work environment, and how AWS helps companies deliver on business outcomes. (* Disclosure below.)

Building a more inclusive tomorrow

AWS is devoted to using its technology to help combat discrimination. One recent example is a real estate firm in the Pacific Northwest reaching out to identify and modify home titles and deeds with old discriminatory language.

“Although not invisible, due to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, racial covenants are still present in millions of home titles across the United States today,” Perez Thomas said. “Partnering with AWS and using our cloud technology, our teams together were able to build an application … where homeowners can look up their titles, analyze it for discriminatory language and be able to submit it for modification.”

Continued important changes are now occurring in the tech workforce. Evolution at the leadership level is one of the biggest areas of growth, Perez Thomas explained.

“We are needing to lead with empathy and think about inclusion as a cornerstone skillset,” she said. “Having inclusion as that foundational skillset is a requirement for both today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. What I’m really excited about is the innovation front. Anyone can innovate now; you don’t need to be a part of the R&D division of a company.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the “Special Program Series: Women of the Cloud”:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the “Special Program Series: Women of the Cloud.” Neither Amazon Web Services Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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