Kathy Henrich, Chief Executive Officer, MKE Tech Hub Coalition
Jason Fields, WI Legislator & Managing Director, Dark Knight Capital Ventures
One of the assets of Milwaukee is our diverse workforce with experience working in strong manufacturing, insurance, distribution sectors. Increasingly, those individuals require enhanced digital skills to compete in the marketplace and our employers require additional technical talent than can be externally acquired.
As a result, there is an opportunity for a mutually beneficial investment by employers in employees to acquire the skills required to compete in the 21 st century economy. Employees bring knowledge of customers, product, company, and industry. When equipped with tech skills, diversity of background and experience creates more innovation.
What should companies consider?
1. Diverse Companies are more profitable a study by McKinsey in 2019 indicates that organizations in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 36% more likely to outperform industry averages than those in the bottom quartile.
2. Diversity in Tech requires embracing non-traditional talent sources: model employers will attest to the fact that this does not mean sacrificing quality, but instead hiring based on capability, and relaxing the four-year degree requirement.
3. Reskilling can have an ROI for employers: The World Economic Forum (WEF) published an report which provides a roadmap on the cost levers associated with reskilling. While there is a cost to instruction, there are offsetting benefits of lower acquisition costs and faster productivity for the new employees. The MKE Tech Hub Coalition is a strong proponent of growing a diverse tech talent base in the Milwaukee region as an accelerant to economic growth. If you have questions on how you can upskill existing employees or hire through non-traditional routes, please contact our Chief Talent Development Officer, Laura Schmidt.