For part 3, click here.
Not many tech firms are aware of their diversity problems; therefore, it’s the minority themselves who organized non-profit organizations in attempts to help other underrepresented minorities. According to the article “Laura Weidman Powers: Opening Doors for Minorities in Technology” by Bill Snyder, two minority woman, Tristan Walker and Laura Weidman Powers, organized a non-profit organization name Code2040 that aims to welcome African Americans and Latinos Engineers. Code2040 is a process that recruits top-tier African American and Latino Engineers into the program and help them land internships with Silicon Valley Tech Firms; during Code2040’s first year, the organization helped 5 people land paid internships with Silicon Valley Tech Companies and it’s projected to help much more underrepresented minorities throughout the years (Snyder).
Intel, a large Silicon Valley Tech Firm, is taking the diversity problems into their own hands. According to the article “Intel Discloses Diversity Data, Challenges Tech Industry to Follow Suit” by Aarti Shahani, Intel met their goals of hiring 40% of women and underrepresented minorities and disclose their diversity data. Other tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft discloses their diversity data, but they did not publicly disclose their goals nor diversity hiring rates (Shahani). Disclosing diversity data and admitting that the tech company has diversity problems is the first step to diversify the tech field. Intel sets blueprint already and other tech giants should follow Intel’s method for their best interests.
Computer Science Classes Should be Available in High Schools
There is no question that Compute Science curriculum in high school is lacking throughout the nation. Based on the article “Tech: Where the women and minorities aren’t” by Elizabeth Weise, Londa Schiebinger, Stanford University professor of history of science, stated that “students coming from high schools where computer science, and especially AP computer science, isn’t taught, start out with a tremendous disadvantage.” Coleen Carrigan claimed that “Women and underrepresented minorities have been denied access to resources and opportunities that would allow them to enter and succeed in computer science” (Weise). Therefore, funding Computer Science courses in High Schools would benefit underrepresented minorities and women who have limited resources to computer-related courses, which increase their chances of pursuing tech careers.
According to the article “Computer Science Is Now a High School Graduation Requirement in Chicago’s Public School District” by Megan Rose Dickey, Only 25% of schools nationwide are offering Computer Science courses. Chicago Public Schools established Computer Science courses in 107 of its school, 41 are high schools, and made Computer Science curriculum as a graduation requirement starting in 2016-17 school year (Dickey). Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of the city of Chicago, stated that “Making sure that our students are exposed to STEM and computer science opportunities early on is critical in building a pipeline to both college to career; Requiring computer science as a core requirement will ensure that our graduates are proficient in the language of the 21st century so that they can compete for the jobs of the future.” (Dickey). Funding Computer Science courses would help diversify the tech field also. Computer Science courses in Chicago Public School District consists of 37% African American and Hispanic students and 43% females (Dickey). Therefore, teaching woman and underrepresented minorities Computer Science courses early on will help build their interests toward the tech fields and positive changes in diversity will occur if schools across the nation follow Chicago’s footsteps.
Providing Leadership and Advancements Opportunities for Underrepresented Minorities
Many tech companies fail to retain underrepresented minorities. Aarti Shahani, the author of the article “Intel Discloses Diversity Data, Challenges Tech Industry to Follow Suit”, reports that Intel loses African Americans tech workers at faster rates than other workers. Neil Green, Vice President of Intel, claims that the lack of relationships between underrepresented minorities and executives leads to insufficient promotion opportunities (Shahani). “From the folks that I’ve talked to, I think African-Americans get frustrated that they’re not progressing faster;” said Green “They aren’t necessarily meeting with and being sponsored by the senior executives.” (Shahani). According to the article “Hacking Diversity in Tech by Emphasizing Retention” by Megan Rose Dickey, Joelle Emerson, CEO of Paradigm, claims that providing leadership opportunities for underrepresented minorities would send a clear message to the underrepresented minorities that they have fair and equal advancements as others. With more connections and opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the tech fields, companies can retain the underrepresented minorities as they would feel welcomed and be aware of advancements when there are people of their common backgrounds and interests in higher authorities.
Money and the Power for the Suggested Resources
In this post, I have 2 ideas as a call to action: funding Computer Science classes in High Schools and providing more leadership opportunities for underrepresented minorities. Now, who has the money and the power to turn my ideology into a reality? Well, as I stated in my Analyzing Stakeholders post, the government, tech executives and CEOs have the money to the power to fund Computer Science courses, establishing programs and organizations to attract underrepresented minorities, and providing leadership opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the tech fields.
Dickey, Megan Rose. “Computer Science Is Now a High School Graduation Requirement in
Chicago’s Public School District.” TechCrunch. TechCrunch,
24 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Dickey, Megan Rose. “Hacking Diversity in Tech by Emphasizing Retention.” TechCrunch.
TechCrunch, 03 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Shahani, Aarti. “Intel Discloses Diversity Data, Challenges Tech Industry To Follow Suit.” NPR. NPR, 3 February 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Snyder, Bill. “Laura Weidman Powers: Opening Doors for Minorities in Technology.” Stanford Graduate School of Business. N.p., 21 June 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Weise, Elizabeth. “Tech: Where the Women and Minorities Aren’t.” USA Today. Gannett,
15 Aug. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.