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The Channel Angle: Time To Prioritize Diversity In The MSP Space

‘MSPs of all sizes hire fast to ensure that a talented candidate isn’t taken by another company, or at worse, a competitor. We think that the Friday afternoon beer parties, ping pong tables or the once-a-year whitewater rafting trip builds culture and keeps employees around and engaged. That can’t be further from the truth,’ writes Tuan Pham of Tech Networks of Boston.

[Editor’s note: The Channel Angle is a monthly CRN guest column written by an executive that focuses on the triumphs and challenges that solution providers face. If you are a solution provider executive interested in contributing, please contact managing editor David Harris.]

By Tuan Pham

This week, “Squid Game,” a Korean drama written by director Hwang Dong-hyuk, ranked first in Netflix streams in the United States. “Shang-Chi and the Legends of Ten Rings” led the box office with more than $13.8 million in ticket sales. Lil Nas X, a Black gay musician, continues to sweep award shows with his critically acclaimed song “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).”

Yet, even though Americans continue to embrace diverse themes culturally, we have yet to see the same representation within the ranks of the employees, managers and owners of MSPs. At this year’s CRN XChange conference in San Antonio, a smattering of BIPOC IT leaders attended, but it’s a far cry from the current make-up of today’s American population.

Diversity, equity and inclusion, DEI for short, has not been a priority in MSPs’ HR departments. MSPs of all sizes hire fast to ensure that a talented candidate isn’t taken by another company, or at worse, a competitor. We think that the Friday afternoon beer parties, ping pong tables or the once-a-year whitewater rafting trip builds culture and keeps employees around and engaged. That can’t be further from the truth.

Millennials will be 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. They are looking more than just money or benefits in a career today; they are looking for a company culture that they are proud to be a part of. They want to work for companies making a difference and aligned with their own personal mission and goals. DEI initiatives, such as hiring from urban colleges, making sure employees’ voices are heard through third party surveys and including everyone in major company decisions, can be a differentiator in today’s hiring marketplace.

[Read A Previous Channel Angle Column: How Company Culture Creates Agility]

DEI also has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. A recent Harvard Business School survey found that companies with more diversity made between 18 to 69 percent more in terms of net income and operating revenue. Deloitte found that 83 percent of millennials feel more empowered and engaged when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture.

This maps directly to our DEI initiatives here at Tech Networks of Boston over the years. After investing time and money into listening to our staff and hiring diverse voices, we found:

DEI should no longer be an afterthought. My family was sponsored by multiple non-profits and was settled in the Boston area after the Vietnam War. AT&T and Wang took a chance on my parents, who barely spoke English, with job opportunities. We, as MSP leaders, should do the same.

Tuan Pham is the CEO of Tech Networks of Boston.

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