Pledge Community Feature: Toby Martin, Extensis

Extensis is a 27-year old software firm headquartered in Portland. For the past two decades, they’ve been quietly delivering tools for creative users that help them maximize their digital assets so they can invent amazing. 

In the past year, this company has been through a tremendous amount of change – including a new brand, new products and new organizational structure. As they continue to evolve, they are committed to asserting their core values and part of that journey includes joining TechTown and committing to our Diversity Pledge.

We recently caught up with their CEO, Toby Martin, to learn more about their decision to join TechTown:

Why have you joined the TechTown Diversity Pledge ?

Our people are our strength, and by being more engaged in efforts like the Diversity Pledge, we feel we can share that strength with a greater portion of our community and show that Extensis believes in robust support for the city we love and its citizens.

Why is this important to your company?

The value for Extensis is that bringing in more diverse opinions and inclusivity will help us better serve our customer base by being more reflective of the workforce outside of Portland or the Pacific Northwest.

How is your company expecting to benefit from joining the TechTown Pledge Community?

The first benefit is by working with other tech organizations in Portland to leverage the combined strengths to drive the largest amount of focus in the issues and changes needed – we can do more together than separately.

Next the opportunities for new voices in training and spreading the awareness and steps forward to address diversity through workshops and robust participation in the process.

Last, to be included in, and contribute to the direction that the TechTown Pledge Community will take in the coming years to further the mission.

What would you like your company to bring to the TechTown Pledge Community?

Another voice from the established (non-startup) tech community in Portland that is looking to continually evolve. What we each experience is different (in recruiting, training, awareness) so another voice with a track-record should help with the dialog used to inform other members, drive future plans, and ultimately improve the diversity and inclusion practice in the entire community.

What would you say to another Portland tech company considering joining the Pledge?

This isn’t just a badge to put on your website – if you’re not 100% committed, then it’s not likely for you. This has to become part of the fabric of your organization or it won’t work and is destined to frustrate everyone so be sure you can commit, and when you do, get behind it at all levels of the company.

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

Tell your story, more than trying to live up to the story you think we want to hear. Rarely do you see a job candidate meet all the criteria or have perfect experience, so consider what will differentiate you and put it into your own personal journey. By helping the interviewer relate to your journey it helps them see you in the role more easily.

To read more about Martin’s perspective on the importance of the Diversity Pledge and expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Portland tech community, click here.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Extensis to the TechTown Diversity Pledge Community!

TechTown Community Features is our way to share insights, ideas and the people within our Pledge community. By sharing stories, advice and experiences, we can continue to progress our pledge goals.

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About TechTownPDX
TechTown PDX is a collection of Portland tech companies that are committed to cultivating a diverse, homegrown talent pipeline and inclusive work environment. We know that in order to make real change, we need to work together to have the difficult conversations to implement strategic programs and to push each other other to do what is right. That’s why each company has taken the TechTown Diversity Pledge and it’s 5 actions that requires collective focus, collaboration and accountability.

Want to become a Pledge Company? Watch “Building an Industry for Everyone” and join the Pledge

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

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