creating diverse STEM workforces: takeaways from randstad's CEO STEM allies panel event

It's time to take real action on equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDI&A). Start with these five actionable takeaways from EDI&A leaders.

professional development can be a key driver of EDI&A progress

— Katie Kirkpatrick, president and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber

I think another piece for me, as I've reflected on looking at our own workforce here, is professional development. I think sometimes we overlook the opportunity to create from within once we've retained or hired an individual into the company.

This is the best opportunity for us to skill, train and provide leadership development. And it's relatively low cost when you think about it once an employee is already on your, in your teams.

And so professional development is one that I think is an important key to recruiting, retaining diverse talent. And because investment means a lot, and it sends a signal that you believe that they have a path forward in the organization. And then the last piece is really thinking about how we work together and rethinking how teams collaborate and how individuals move their work streams forward.

Highlight career pathways by investing in talent development across your org chart.

invest in your managers — and ensure they understand the real value of EDI&A

— Maurice Jones, CEO, OneTen

It's all about the people, managers. Right? You know, you were talking about people and employers. Well, we know the deal is this, people don't leave employers, they don't leave companies — they leave people. People come to people, as well.

And so the real key to advancing your employees that you have currently is making sure that you're investing in their managers to make their managers the best they can be at coaching, at mentoring, at creating cultures of inclusion and belonging and — you know — holding them accountable for the kinds of metrics you want on diversity, etc. You really have to really invest in the muscle of people managers.

People and personalities are why workers leave.

Well-trained managers can help ensure that more employees feel like they belong — and stay longer as a result.

don't overlook non-traditional talent

— Nicole Armstrong, CEO, TechBridge

Understand that there is non-traditional talent. And it's not a nice-to-have, it is a need-to-have. We will not build the workforce of the future if we don't start allowing non-degreed technicians into organizations.

Tap into non-traditional talent pools — like candidates without college degrees.

be more inclusive by filtering in, not out

— H. Keith Boone, senior managing director, technology strategy and advisory leader, North America, Accenture

Filter in, not filter out. You know, think about not only the way you filter, but update the job descriptions to seek out the candidates with those relevant skills, and then look at the type of candidates they're getting in.

Are you getting in that wide array of people that you actually want to bring into your company, not to that particular job? Because once they're into the company, they can move around into a lot of different opportunities in the field. Some of the best technologists that I know today did not begin in technology. They began in other functions throughout the company or in other roles throughout the company.

Remember: a lot of great STEM employees began their careers in other fields.

diverse and inclusive workforces start with diverse and inclusive pipelines

— Venessa Harrison, president, AT&T Georgia

We have to be intentional, though, about building a diverse workforce and a pipeline for positions that we have available — and it must start at the top. We must have people accountable for making sure that we have diverse pipelines when we are looking for diverse talent.

but senior leaders need to buy in — and be intentional about building them

Take these insights back to your company to start taking action today. Visit to learn more about why EDI&A matters — and how Randstad can help.