Managed services News

Solution Providers Explain Top DEI Investments

Mark Haranas

Solution providers tell CRN about their top DEI investments today and what they are doing inside their company around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Derek Nwamadi, CEO

Quantum Symphony


What we’re doing [from the] DEI standpoint is twofold. I go out and I talk to high-school kids and college kids that are concerned that they’re not going to be able to get a job based on either their name or their ZIP code.

So it’s not just hiding their name on their resume, the ZIP code also makes a difference if they’re trying to get a job locally. Somebody sees your ZIP code and it can turn a job recruiter away from interviewing you.

So the two things we do is we go out and we speak to students and we bring them on as interns to learn and make sure that—whatever time they spend with us and whatever they need to get out of it—we can help. And if we grow enough, we’ll bring them on as our actual employees.

If not, we give them training so they know about cybersecurity, and we can be used as a reference point for their next move. Because our job is to get you exposed and keep doing so until you get to the knowledge base that gets you higher.

We do it for all ages, not just college students, but even 50-year-old folks that go, ‘I want to get into cybersecurity, but I can’t get a certification because I don’t have the experience to get a test.’

Well, we can help you get the experience. So we literally live what I’m preaching, and we do it for everyone—older, younger, it doesn’t matter.

I’ve been in the space for 25-plus years. Typically, I’m one of two or three Black people in the room—and typically those are Black males, not even females. It’s something I’m used to, but it’s a disconcerting feeling.

But then when you look under the unconscious biases that are driving the status quo, there are people not either ready to admit or willing to admit that their unconscious biases are driving the status quo.

Learn More: XChange
Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at

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