Telum Talks To... Jaime Nelson from Hotwire about The Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program

Telum Talks To... Jaime Nelson from Hotwire about The Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program

Earlier this year, global communications consultancy Hotwire announced the launch of the Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program in an effort to advance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) in the technology and innovation sector. Under the new initiative, Hotwire will pledge up to US$1 million in pro bono brand, marketing, and public relations services to tech companies that are either led by or benefit minority communities.

Following Hotwire's announcement that applications are now open in Australia, Telum spoke to Jaime Nelson, Managing Director of Hotwire Australia, to find out more about Ignite and the importance of promoting DE&I in the tech sector.

Tell us more about the Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program - how did the idea come about, and what does Hotwire hope to achieve with the initiative?
Our ethos is to ignite the unrealised possibility of tech. This includes heroing the people and tech-enabled ideas that can change the world. The Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program was created to direct more of our resources to organisations that align with our diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Coupled with the existing pro bono services we’ve been providing to impactful organisations, the Program provides us a greater opportunity to advance social justice through our services.

So, in wanting to put our PR, communications and branding consulting firepower to good use, the Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program was born - a commitment of up to US$1 million of services globally to support tech and tech-enabled organisations led by or supporting minority communities. I’m excited to launch Hotwire’s Ignite Possibility Program campaign in Australia and begin the hunt for a local partner to support.

Why do we need to support minority-led tech organisations, and why is this important to Hotwire?
Every organisation deserves access to the resources they need to scale and succeed. I’m thrilled to be kickstarting Hotwire Australia’s participation in the Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program as we look to support the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion in the tech and innovation sector. It is part of Hotwire’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy to amplify the people and organisations creating meaningful and sustainable change in the world through tech innovation.

What role does diversity, equity and inclusion play in Australia's tech industry?
The Diversity & Inclusion Index, which surveyed 13 global companies from the tech, energy and industrial sectors, found a major lack of diversity within organisations today. It showed that within tech teams, 84 per cent are men and 16 per cent are women. In terms of race in those tech teams, 61 per cent of employees are white, with 13 per cent Asian, 14 per cent Hispanic / Latino, seven per cent Black or African American, and two per cent are two or more races.

It’s clear that in Australia, and globally, a lot of work needs to be done in the space of diversity, equity and inclusion across sectors, and especially within historically male-dominated industries like tech. Every tech business, including Hotwire, has an important role to play in creating an inclusive environment where differences are celebrated. In Australia’s fast-pace and progressive tech industry, diversity, equity and inclusion are the bedrock of success. An inclusive workplace breeds diversity, which in turn, creates a team of professionals that bring a range of different opinions, experiences and skills to the table - which is highly beneficial within an industry that’s evolving by the second.

What type of services will the Program provide?
Hotwire Australia will provide support to one or more tech-enabled organisations supporting minority communities in our area/s of expertise. This includes consulting services in PR, communications and branding, which could include anything from a rebrand to a social media project. Our intention is to ensure the Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program has the greatest chance of creating meaningful change and delivering impact.

What is the selection criteria?
Any tech or tech-enabled organisation - for-profit, non-profit, education or government - that is either minority-led or providing a product or service benefitting minority communities in a country with a Hotwire office may qualify.

All applicants will be required to complete an online form to be considered and all applications are reviewed by a Program governing committee of Hotwire employees. In addition to the outlined criteria, the extent to which the pro bono services provided by Hotwire will help the organisation meet a measurable goal and fill gaps in their marketing and PR program, are factors in consideration.

How and when is the deadline to apply?
Applications for the Australian Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program are open now until 18th June 2021, and can be made via the form here.

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