Originally posted on TelecomNewsroom

Understanding the history and evolution of an industry helps us learn what we can do as a collective to help it prosper. Without this awareness and insight, the respective industry can experience negative effects.  The digital infrastructure industry is currently experiencing long-term effects as it faces an aging industry with a large talent gap. This is a result of the lack of awareness the general public has about the industry and how to get involved.

Ilissa Miller, Founder and CEO of iMiller Public Relations (iMPR), sat down with Elya McCleave, Founder and CEO of Innovorg, at the 2022 infra/STRUCTURE Summit to explore this very issue. 

Although this talent gap  is very real, many companies are not leading with that message and are not vocal about the challenges they are currently facing. Miller has her own perspective as to why some industry organizations aren’t approaching this issue more head-on:

“I think that companies want to hire what they know and what they are comfortable with, even though the requirements are suggesting different types of hiring practices – which ultimately goes back to the discussion of diversity and inclusion.”

Playing a big role in the lack of skills and knowledge is how the industry has shifted training geared towards the younger generation. Miller poses the question, “how do you hire knowing there’s an unfamiliar approach and mindset brought in by a different generation, and how do you work with that rather than against it?”

Her answer is simple:

“It’s a lot of hard work. It is core to your business because you need good, skilled workers to operate your business, and I don’t think there’s an understanding or appreciation of the importance of that – which is why companies aren’t leading with that message.”

McCleave agrees with Miller’s perspective, and chimes in about the many biases that exist in the industry, especially as a female trying to take advantage of the limited opportunities for growth and development:

“We’re hoping to even the playing field, where there’s a data-driven, factual, transparent approach to the skills and certifications you have, and it’s easier to progress and develop your career.”

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