By Mary Fuller, Hack the Hood
In case you haven't seen, Google just released its diversity numbers, admitting they aren't where they want to be (see their blog post.) Among their Tech employees, only 17% are women, 1% are black, and 2% are Hispanic.
Google isn’t alone in the disparity, they’re just one of the only tech companies brave enough to release their data (so far). Check out this graphic from a 2013 Census report titled Disparities in STEM Employment by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin.
The fact is we can’t solve the employment disparity problem until we fix the educational and job training disparity problem which starts in middle school, gets worse in high school, and reaches dismal levels in college and post-grad. Women, African Americans, and Latinos are way underrepresented in computer science and other STEM degree programs.
Here’s some numbers that show the work we have to do to build a pipeline for a future tech scene that is diverse, and as a result creating solutions for a diverse nation and world:
Researchers offer many (and interrelated) explanations for the ongoing achievement gaps. They agree that “family and community differences, school context, low expectations, and lack of exposure to role models, information about career opportunities, and advanced courses affect minority students’ success in mathematics and science.” (link- see page 5)
We think that Google releasing these numbers takes guts and shows both leadership and a desire to work to change this. They have partnered with one of our favorite leaders in promoting diversity in STEM: the Kapor Center for Social Impact to address their diversity problem. As a Google Bay Area Impact Challenge Top 10 Finalist, Hack the Hood is also proud to be able to partner with Google to begin to plug the leaky pipeline in order to change the tech workforce disparity.
Hack the Hood is committed to reaching youth who are slipping through the cracks. Here are our demographics from last year:
We simply can’t afford to waste the potential of our youth. We need their creative minds to attack some of the biggest challenges that face us as a nation and as a planet. We need to unite around providing quality education from preschool through post-graduate education for all our youth. We need universal access to technology and tools for success. We need real, meaningful, and formative opportunities from an early age. Our solutions have to be practical, and relevant to diverse youth. We have to build on the assets we have, and bridge communities to make this happen. Only then will we start to see these numbers change. Only then can we raise a new generation that is strong, smart, diverse, and ready to attack everything from poverty to climate change.
Please advocate for long term reforms in our educational system, and support schools and organizations who are already doing this work in the meantime.
One thing you can do right now is help Google support diversity in tech by voting us into the top 4 in the Google Bay Area Impact Challenge.
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