Bridge the diversity gap in tech

Bridge the diversity gap in tech

Diversity in the tech world has been a problem for years, but only recently have companies begun to release data on just how skewed the numbers are. The vast majority of tech companies have an overwhelmingly white male workforce while Latinos and blacks make up as little as 4 percent.

In an effort to increase minority participation in tech, the Congressional Black Caucus recently announced a new program called the CBC Tech 2020 Initiative that aims to bring together the best and brightest minds in the tech, non-profit, education and public sectors.

“We are confident that if the industry uses the same entrepreneurial spirit it used to make America the leader in innovation, tech companies can certainly implement innovative approaches to African American inclusion,” said Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., the caucus chairman and task force member. “The plan will include collaboration with nonprofits and the private sector to scale their efforts to increase African American inclusion and to develop best practices for increasing African American representation.”

The summit was hosted in Washington, D.C. and the 46-member caucus’ diversity task force met with representatives of some of the world’s largest tech companies. Last summer, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others spoke with several tech companies in Silicon Valley about increasing the diversity in the workforce. Specifically, TECH 2020 is an acronym for: Transparency, Education & Training, Corporate Responsibility & Investment, and Hiring & Retention.

According to the Level Playing Field Institute, there will be around 1.4 million new jobs expected to be created in the next five years which would leave ample opportunities for many minorities to join tech companies. Google, Intel, Apple, Facebook and other companies have already announced their own push to increase these numbers.

“This is just the beginning and a phenomenal first step,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Diversity Task Force. “Including African Americans into the tech world has been long overdue. We can’t have any industry that is lacking in diversity; inclusion is good for business.”

Lee also noted the importance of making STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education a priority and appealing to minority students as well as investing in school districts where there are fewer opportunities to learn these skills.

The initiative will also include a push for more entrepreneurship in the tech industry and looking at large tech companies to invest in diverse startups. There is plenty of untapped potential just waiting in the tech world. It’s time to capitalize on that.


No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.