Sunday, June 29, 2014

Initiatives to Boost Diversity in the Tech Industry

Diversity or the lack of it is very much in focus in the tech industry as so far four among the tech giants in the industry - Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Facebook - have revealed their respective workforce diversity data, which paint a common picture: mostly white, male and Asian.

Each of these companies have owned up to the dismal diversity of their workforces and are talking of their initiatives to boost diversity in the tech industry on the whole. It is a common understanding that the lack of diversity in the industry is due to few women and minorities are taking up STEM courses.

Since the gap starts early, initiatives announced by Google and its peers have included donating to programs that expose women and minorities to computer science education from an early stage. Google is helping historically black colleges and universities improve their computer science programs. Facebook is collaborating with “Yes We Code,” which brings coding lessons to low-opportunity youth. “It’s encouraging to see not just the numbers, but that there’s real synergy in the solutions across tech companies, from education initiatives to unconscious bias training,” says Meghan Casserly, a spokeswoman for Google. Read more at

Facebook said it’s teaming up with several organizations, including the National Center for Women & Information Technology and the National Society of Black Engineers to improve diversity. Google last week introduced Made With Code, an organization to inspire girls to write software by showing them role models and teaching them introductory coding. The group said it’s committing $50 million to support programs that get more women into computer science.
Along with its dislosure, Facebook announced seven initiatives to help close its diversity gap. Four of them related specifically to increasing the number of female or minority technologists. Read more at

While tech companies say their diversity challenges are largely due to the lack of women and minorities getting science and engineering degrees, Rev. Jackson said the industry’s diversity data show that it has done a poor job of recruiting black and Latino workers even for nontechnical jobs such as lawyers and marketers. Read more here

It is hoped that with the disclosure of their workforce diversity data, a step in the right direction, and by revealing the diversity initiatives meant to increase their diversity reach, more women and minorities will be given more significant roles in the tech industry.

If you are interested in technology jobs, visit DiversityWorking.com, the largest diversity job board online.






 


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