As TechTown has evolved, a core focus has been to find solutions to recruit and retain more women and people of color within TechTown Pledge companies and throughout the Portland Tech Industry. As a result, TechTown has identified three areas for ongoing programming to address this issue:

Community Accountability | Recruitment & Pipeline Efforts | Retention Training & Development

These three integrated programming areas are designed to build a more diversity and inclusion within both companies and the industry. Programming is structured to improve:

  • Community, connection and progress within current Pledge member companies
  • Help develop a thriving talent pipeline to recruit a more diverse workforce now and for the future
  • Establish a support system for all employees to create a diverse and inclusive work environment within their company and the industry.

TechTown is engaging more with the broader Portland community, and as programming develops that engagement will increase.

Community Accountability

TechTown is taking a three-pronged approach to developing deeper connections within our community, increasing engagement, and improving communication within TechTown companies:

1. Steering Committee:

In 2017 TechTown launched the Steering Committee and monthly committee meetings to drive collective actions. The group functions as a decision-making body when consensus is not possible on specific actions and also provides strategic insight and direction. In 2019, the group will refineTechTown metrics and accountability.

Learn more
2. Monthly Morning Sessions:

Open to all Pledge company employees, Morning Sessions are attended by the person/people leading, and/or who are most passionate about, diversity and inclusion within their organization. These meetings serve as an opportunity to network and align on TechTown Diversity Action Items.

The 75-minute sessions focus on recruitment, retention, and community-building topics and frequently feature outside speakers. They often provide participants with tools, resources, and connections to better drive change within their organization and industrywide.

3. Quarterly CEO Roundtables:

These meetings with Pledge Company leaders are an opportunity to  participate in and drive discussion on overall strategy and priorities. It is a critical check-in to more thoroughly institute change within companies and the industry. In many respects, the CEO Roundtables function as TechTown’s Board Meeting.

Recruitment & Pipeline Programming

Recruiting talent and deepening the pipeline are essential to increasing representation of women and people of color at all levels within the tech industry. Implementing this change and making a tangible impact will take time and effort.

Developing the Pipeline

TechTown companies unite under the TechTown umbrella to amplify impact and support existing events and activities that improve the talent pool’s awareness of and access to this industry. Talent needs for TechTown companies differ significantly, so collective efforts focusing on future talent address a wider array of company interests. TechTown initiated a more concerted effort to execute, track and partner on events in 2018. Due to the successful results of initial efforts and ongoing need, TechTown has committed to this collective approach on a quarterly basis in 2019.

2018 Events:

2019 Events:

We are in the planning stages for future events and we want to hear from you. If there’s an event that you believe TechTown should be part of, let us know.

Addressing Current Inequities:

The lack of women and people of color in the tech industry has many causes, some of which companies can begin to address right now. TechTown is committed to identifying those inequities and working with member companies to make improvements.

Currently, we work with companies to seek out new events and job boards to reach diverse and female candidates, and to modify the hiring process to reduce and ultimately remove bias.

The tools below are available to TechTown companies through the TechTown Resource Library:

Retention Training & Development Programming

It is vitally important to increase the number of women and people of color within the industry. It is even more essential that work environments position all employees, especially women and people of color, for success. In many respects this is more challenging than recruitment as it requires ongoing, industry-wide training and support. TechTown’s programming efforts around retention are positioned to provide both training and support when scale calls for collective action.

1. Women of Color Affinity Group

Launching 2019! Stay tuned for details.

2. AllyShift Training


What is AllyShift?

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

Join The Pledge Learn More
Have a Portland tech company?