Pledge Community Feature: Marcus Carter, Cloudability

Cloudability is a Portland-based startup that lets you visualize, manage, optimize and govern cloud costs and spend across your business or enterprise with True Cost accuracy. They joined the TechTown pledge to understand, empower, and build resources, community, and intentional acts to address the lack of diversity and inclusion in the local tech sector.

Marcus Carter, Talent Acquisition Manager and a member of the steering committee, recently sat down with us to provide some insights into Cloudability’s experience as a TechTown Pledge company, the responsibility he has taken to identify practical solutions to progress diversity and inclusion among our community, and his advice for those interested in joining the local Portland tech community:

What has been rewarding/surprising/challenging being a TechTown Pledge Company and being part of the community?

With all due respect to community partners, activists, and our region’s history – the work overall is quite challenging. Our intent is to accelerate results and consistently address barriers that impact our ability to diversify the pipeline and cultivate an inclusive tech community. I think each Pledge company agrees, that’s no small task. In my opinion, this year we’ve done a good job in offering resources to impact D&I at each company through Ally Workshops, Women and CEO Roundtables, and various trainings. At Cloudability, we’ve engaged in partnerships with Thinkful and ELI to diversify our pipeline. In addition, we’ve removed CS degree requirements from our Engineering roles.

“I’d love to host more open forums around D&I among tech and non-tech companies. I’d love to see us engage K-12 more as part of our effort to impact the pipeline in years to come.

I must note, it’s also critical to our success to see more diverse representation across leadership teams at Pledge companies.”

What have been your key take-a-ways since becoming a TechTown Pledge Company?

The Pledge has helped build community across tech companies that may not have previously existed. I appreciate the insight I gain from other organizations regarding various tested frameworks. I love that I can inform professionals at meetups or while out for coffee, to review Pledge companies and use me as a resource to make introductions. Personally, I am always promoting TechTown companies and opportunities as a way to engage the tech pipeline.

TechTown has exposed us to local resources we were previously unaware of such as ELI. These resources continually assist our efforts to diversify our employee population.

Which endorsed hiring program have you implemented at your organization?

One of the actions encouraged by the Pledge is to partner with groups in Portland that can assist with hiring and career advancement for underrepresented communities. We felt the Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI) program, which matches underrepresented college students (focusing on students of color) with paid internships across top companies throughout the Portland area, was an ideal fit. Recently, we hired an Accounting Intern who is expected to start next month.

“We can’t afford to offer passive solutions, and need to be diligent in addressing D&I in the workforce.

We also have to expand the conversation beyond tech. I’ve found value in learning from industries/organizations outside of tech that are facing similar challenges.”

What advice would you give other Tech companies looking to create a culture of Diversity and Inclusion?

  • Identify and utilize community partners in the Portland Metro area that have been executing D&I work for decades in Portland.
  • Survey your employees to understand what D&I looks like and means to them.
  • Consistently build on creating a sense of belonging that extends to your employees and the community.

What advice would you give another Portland Tech company looking to join the Pledge?

  • Join ASAP. The Pledge base needs to grow in order to diversify the opportunities we offer to our audience.
  • Feel free to reach out to me. The connections we make with each other increase our ability to impact this issue.

What advice would you give someone looking to enter this industry/get hired? 

  • Utilize tech calendars on meetup.com and calagator.org to understand different trends in the industry and visit various organizations. I think you can build a solid network through networking functions via those sites.  

What advice would you give someone in Tech looking to relocate to Portland?

  • Apply to Pledge companies!
  • Portland is a great city and the Pacific Northwest is a unique region with a lot to offer.

Thanks to Marcus and Cloudability for their time and dedication to TechTown.

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Portland tech companies have joined the Diversity & Inclusion Pledge since its initial launch in 2015.

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