We build initiatives that provide Baltimore companies the opportunity to commit to programs ensure that candidates from underrepresented groups feel empowered to apply to and engage with, our collective group of companies.
The Result :
A Baltimore community, where we work to equalize the opportunities for POC by leveraging our companies' networks and resources.
Company leaders in Baltimore Tracks have made the commitments below, in order to advance our vision of turning Baltimore into a hub for diverse and talented tech professionals. Our member companies recognize that these commitments are steps in the right direction but that the most meaningful work is still ahead of us.
Our commitments & initiatives are meant to ensure that candidates from underrepresented groups feel empowered to apply to, and engage with, our companies; they aim to equalize the opportunities for PoC by leveraging our companies’ network and resources. By measuring progress over time, we hope to identify and focus on the initiatives and programs that are most impactful.
Companies in Baltimore Tracks will not require a candidate to possess a four-year degree (e.g. Bachelor’s degree) or higher when recruiting candidates for open job positions, except where this is legally mandated or where specialization is critical for certain job functions (e.g. lawyer, finance, medical) or positions where third-party contract requirements mandate a degree (e.g. certain government contracts).
Why remove degree requirements?
We believe removing degree requirements helps us expand the definition of “relevant experience”. College degrees do not cause professional achievement, exclusively and so this commitment aims to challenge how we view “qualified candidates”. While there are a wealth of qualified, highly educated candidates of color to choose from, we also acknowledge that, college is increasingly expensive and as a result, requiring a college degree perpetuates a system wherein companies miss out on qualified candidates by selecting from a relatively small and privileged group of graduates.
Companies in Baltimore Tracks have agreed that any internship sourced by the company will be paid, and that our internship programs will strive to recruit candidates reflective of the demographic population of Baltimore, specifically focusing on underrepresented groups. With consideration of EEOC compliance in our hiring practices, we further agree to select candidates fairly regardless of national origin, race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and sexual orientation), disability, or genetic information.
Why paid internships are important?
The challenge of building a diverse workforce is multifaceted. It requires a commitment to identifying places to recruit diverse talent and openness by diverse candidates to consider, in our case, working for technology or tech-enabled companies. By leveraging paid internships, companies start to provide opportunities to engage with diverse communities. Further, these opportunities will contribute to diverse candidates’ ability to build out their professional network and gain valuable experience improving the likelihood of their professional success.
Companies in Baltimore Tracks have agreed to share qualified candidates (after they’ve given consent) who apply to our companies but aren’t hired immediately, prioritizing applicants from underrepresented demographic groups. With consideration of EEOC compliance in our hiring practices, we further agree to select candidates fairly, regardless of national origin, race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and sexual orientation), disability, or genetic information.
Why sharing candidates is important?
We recruit and engage qualified applicants for open roles within our organizations. We may have limited available openings to fill, however, and sometimes have to turn away qualified candidates. A qualified candidate will have navigated through the company’s interview process but is not chosen. When we see that a candidate could be a valued team member within another organization, their résumés are shared with other companies in the coalition. By sharing a candidate’s résumé, we support opportunities for candidates to build their network and increase their likely access to rewarding and fulfilling jobs.
Share Best Practices
Companies in Baltimore Tracks are committed to sharing ideas and information about our DEI efforts including best practices and lessons learned. This would include, but is not limited to, anti-bias training consultants, diverse candidate-job boards, and relevant research. View our most impactful resources.
One of the benefits of being a member of Baltimore Tracks is that the collective research can be utilized and leveraged to save time and money when building out DEI programs within specific companies. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Baltimore Tracks aims to help companies build awareness for programs that are already effective. We will also create a valuable feedback loop that is focused on constantly improving DEI within each company.
Baltimore Tracks companies have agreed to conduct an annual DEI Audit & Demographic Survey intended to provide a quantitative analysis of the state of diversity, equity, & inclusion at each organization and to measure the demographic composition of our collective workforce.
What’s a DEI Audit?
The collection of data that measures the inclusive nature of a company. It should capture employee sentiment and quantify the effectiveness of the company’s DEI program and initiatives. We encourage companies to ask questions like:
Is DEI prioritized?
Are opinions valued?
Are employees able to be authentic?
Are employees judged fairly?
Are all employees welcome?
Do employees feel they are compensated fairly?
What’s included in the demographic survey?
The capture of data that measures the demographic composition of a company’s workplace. We’ll use this data to track progress over time to determine whether our companies are becoming more or less diverse. We encourage companies to collect data such as:
Current Role at Company
Why collect data?
Though Baltimore is over 60% Black/African-American, anecdotally we know that, to date, this racial demographic is not effectively represented at tech companies in Baltimore. By collecting demographic, equity, and inclusion data from each of our companies, we will be able to identify what percentage of our workforce is Black/African-American and from other underrepresented groups and measure employees’ experience with equity and inclusion at our companies. By collecting the data, we’ll measure progress over time in order to see if the programs and initiatives we’re undertaking are positively impacting these figures.