Environments that support diversity are just as important as hiring decisions: Rackspace Technology

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While businesses can start to improve diversity in their teams at the point of hiring new talent, it is the environment fostered in the business that allows this talent to thrive.

Digital Nation Australia spoke to Angeline Maronese, managing director ANZ at Rackspace Technology, who describes why creating a supportive environment is essential to building diverse, equitable and inclusive teams.

We have a very strong BS button, right? If a company says they have diversity, but it doesn't play out in the day to day and not just on International Women's Day, then the button goes off for people and you, and you lose their engagement,” said Maronese.

“It absolutely has to come from the top and it has to be real and it has to show up every single day in the environment. And that's the only way it can't be tolerated.”

Fostering an environment for where people with diverse skills, backgrounds and thinking can grow and learn, is key to achieving greater business goals she said.

“It's not the gold cup that once you've hit your diversity quota, you're done. That's not what diversity is about.

“Diversity for me is that first step you must have the right ingredients. So you must have people with different ways of thinking that are part of your organisation, then it's the organisation's responsibility to create that environment where that diversity can come together, can feel safe and that the culture is genuine.”

In Maronese’s own career she has seen the diversity evolution over 25 years in business. Starting out as one of the only females in the room, she said she has seen female presence increase in some parts of the business more than others.

“I think its on the technology side that doesn't have the uptake from women. Whether they shy away from the more of the technology roles within IT, but the IT industry, I actually think has been more progressive than many other traditional sectors,” she said.

In order to encourage more women to join at a technical level, Rackspace Technology is opening up more technical roles in IT in early career positions.

“There's lots of different pathways that people can go. And I think being able to open that up and to allow building of skills is incredibly important to help balance the diversity.”

© Digital Nation

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