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ITSMF President’s Message June 2024

June 28, 2024 |

Greetings, Family!

Why This Downturn is Your Opportunity to Lead on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Tech leaders, are you ready to disrupt the status quo again?

This month, we witnessed a historic milestone: 157 graduates from our Global Institute for Professional Development, now equipped to propel their organizations forward with cutting-edge tools, renewed energy, and a powerful network. But let’s be honest, the headlines are filled with negativity – global instability, hiring slowdowns, and economic uncertainty. It is enough to make anyone wonder: will diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives fall by the wayside?

My answer? The names of many corporate programs and initiatives may change, some corporate titles may change, some organizations may find reason to abandon their commitments but as a whole, Absolutely not. In fact, these very challenges present a unique opportunity for tech leaders to champion DEI and unlock its full potential. Here is why:

  • A Multigenerational Workforce: For the first time ever, we have five generations working side-by-side. Leaders who can bridge these divides and harness the unique strengths of each generation will be the ones who thrive.
  • The War for Talent: The post-pandemic workforce prioritizes flexibility, well-being, and a healthy work-life balance. To attract and retain top talent, you need to offer a workplace that reflects those values.
  • The ROI of Well-being: A stressed workforce costs companies billions. By fostering psychological safety, where employees feel comfortable taking risks and sharing ideas, you can unlock innovation and boost productivity.
  • DEI Programs are Showing Impact Companies in the top quartile for diversity are 36% more likely to have financial outperformance compared to their less diverse counterparts.

The statistics are clear:

  • 77% of workers experience work-related stress (American Psychological Association).
  • Workplace stress costs the US $190-$300 billion annually (American Institute of Stress).
  • Only 26% of leaders create psychologically safe environments (McKinsey & Company).

Here’s the bottom line: DEI isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s a strategic imperative for success in today’s competitive landscape. By investing in your people, creating a culture of psychological safety, and embracing a multigenerational workforce, you will be well-positioned to weather any storm and emerge even stronger.

Join us in building the future of tech leadership.

This is not just about riding out a downturn; it is about seizing the opportunity to lead. Are you in?

With warmest regards,



President and CEO, ITSMF


About Information Technology Senior Management Forum

Since 1996, Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) has been dedicated to increasing the representation of Black professionals at senior levels in technology to impact organizational innovation and growth. We do this by developing and nurturing these dynamic leaders through enrichment of the mind, body and soul. At its inception, only 3% of senior-level positions in the technology industry were held by Blacks. With a half-million new computer-related jobs expected by 2028, ITSMF is committed to increasing the number of qualified Black professionals for these positions. For more information about ITSMF, visit www.itsmfleaders.org.

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