May 19, 2020

2020 Ready to Rocket list recognises tech innovators

Ready to Rocket
Tech innovators
Orbital Research
Envisio
Navin Mirania
2 min
2020 Ready to Rocket list recognises tech innovators

Burnaby, BC-based Orbital Research has been recognised for its industry-leading products by featuring on the 2020 Ready to Rocket list.

A programme seeking to highlight the top tech contributors in the British Columbia market, the prestigious list identified Orbital’s exceptional growth potential and industry expertise, particularly its high-performance frequency conversion products for the SATCOM (satellite communications) sector. 

Commenting on Orbital’s inclusion, Reg Nordman, Managing Partner at Rocket, said, "When we choose the Ready to Rocket companies, we are looking for those companies that have best matched technical innovation with market opportunity.

“Orbital Research is an excellent example of the right technology for the right customers at the right time."

Serving the global market

Orbital was founded in 2003 by a team of highly experienced engineers, which led to the creation of a range of products, including LNBs (low-noise block downconverters), BDCs (block downconverters), oscillators and more. 

The result of their combined expertise and industry knowledge has been a superior product capable of withstanding extremes of temperature and atmospheric conditions. As such, they have received widespread adoption in military, aeronautic, media and satellite applications.

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The diversity of Orbital’s products has been emphasised by the support they have provided to emergency workers and the army during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognising success

Other companies included on Rocket’s diverse ICT list (the category which Orbital was placed) include Envisio, Freightera and Procurify.

The latter, a software company looking to refine the procurement process and make it easier for operators, raised $30mn in its Series B funding last year to expand its business internationally. 

“The way organizations are managing their spend has evolved and changed throughout the years, and the landscape of business tools need to keep up with that evolution,” commented Aman Mann, co-founder and CEO, in an article with GeekWire.

“We are so grateful to embrace the next stage of Procurify, and to have some of the top investors and leaders in U.S and Canada believe and support our mission of reinventing the way organizations spend, to transform the Spend Cultures of businesses around the world

For more information on business topics in the United States, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief North America

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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