3 Ways Tech Can Drive Equity in Education and Careers

By Guest Author | May 4, 2021 | | Education, Higher Education, Student Experience

To support education institutions, Esor Consulting Group, a Salesforce.org Equality Partner, and HBCUforce, are helping to train and hire underrepresented minorities in IT. The tech industry’s market and growth potential, including the CRM and cloud computing verticals, offer a point of entry into careers that are underrepresented by people of color. This critical work is changing lives and generations to come. 

Esor and Salesforce.org are committed to opening the doors of opportunity so that everyone has equal access to a quality education, meaningful career, and prosperous future. Student success is critical to building a better future for all.

Woman smiling in front of poster
The tech industry’s market and growth potential offer a point of entry into careers
that are underrepresented by people of color.

As inequalities have grown during the global COVID-19 pandemic and new challenges have emerged for schools to equitably and holistically support their students, we feel a sense of urgency to act to help marginalized learners achieve their goals.

Here are three ways technology can drive equity in education:

  1. Reduce unconscious bias throughout the application and enrollment process. Admissions counselors are responsible for shaping incoming classes by supporting applicants and identifying their potential. With thousands of applications to manage, admissions teams are spending more time on paperwork than on building relationships with prospective students. Watch this Leading Through Change episode about equity in admissions featuring Mark Kennedy, president of the University of Colorado, and Dr. Crystal Newby, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at NACAC.
  2. Use data to highlight discrepancies by race and gender. Higher education is an increasingly data-driven field. To make sense of what is happening today and plan for tomorrow, higher education institutions need to combine high-level views of organization and population changes with drill-down capabilities for true decision-making power.

    Insights from data can uncover discrepancies in grading, disciplinary action, and financial aid. With data visualization from tools like Tableau, your institution can unlock the power of data to highlight discrepancies, close equity gaps, and improve learning, fundraising, planning, and research. For example, with Tableau, the University of West Florida identified new recruiting markets and opportunities to close equity gaps.

Students looking at a computer
Innovative approaches to ensuring equality in education prove that
together we can help students succeed on their path forward.

3. Use data to visualize the percentage of your student population that’s diverse. Research shows tremendous disparities in educational attainment in the U.S., with underrepresented and low-income students experiencing higher college dropout rates and longer timeframes to complete their degrees on average. Only about a quarter of college freshmen born into the bottom half of the income distribution will complete a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to almost 90% of freshmen born into families in the top income quartile. 

While technology alone is not enough to address inequities in educational attainment and improve attrition in higher ed among low-income and underrepresented students, we aim to support and make equitable the higher education experiences for learners from marginalized groups to improve these outcomes.

Innovative approaches like those highlighted here show how, together, we can help students succeed on their path forward. 

Learn more about how Salesforce.org can help your educational institution ensure equity and inclusion for all students.


About the Author

Tiffany Spencer, Chief Operating Officer at Esor Consulting Group
Tiffany Spencer
Chief Operating Officer at Esor Consulting Group

Tiffany Spencer, chief operating officer at Esor Consulting Group, has more than 12 years of experience leading digital transformations for small to large corporations using Salesforce. She is also the founder of HBCUforce, a non-profit organization that introduces students of color to cloud computing careers.