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4 Solutions for Getting More Black People into Tech



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Meta: The tech world is suffering from a big diversity problem. That’s why we’re breaking down four ways to get more black people into tech.

In a country where over 83% of tech executives are white, we have to come up with actionable solutions to the diversity problem in the tech space. That’s why we’re breaking down four of them that can really work.

Exposure

If the people in our underserved minority communities don’t even know about technology let alone all the tons of job opportunities available in that industry, there’s no way to get more of us into tech. That’s why it’s imperative to bring tech and it’s biggest leaders into the heart of these communities. Luckily there are organizations that are doing just that, hosting events that expose and teach our next generation of black talent the tech skills they need to start their careers. The National Society of Black Engineers holds events in Birmingham, AL to introduce our young black children to careers in STEM. The mission of Black Tech Week in South Florida is to bring together young and creative black minds for a week of discussions, workshops, and networking events. Creative + Development recently hosted a Hack the Community Event in the Historic Northwood District in Palm Beach County where community leaders, neighbors, and local government workers got together with IBM to create innovative solutions to community problems.

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More Internship Opportunities

For those black students enrolled in college to pursue careers in the tech and creative spaces, many of them aren’t getting to work in their chosen field. That’s because they’re missing a crucial step between college and that first job -- internships. The sad reality is that many companies are overlooking minority students, choosing to stick to their own communities. In order to connect more students of color to the vital internships they need to get tech jobs, non-profits are stepping up. Robert Federick Smith and his organization called Fund II are creating a computer program that will connect minority students to tech companies looking to diversify their staff. Code2040 has a fellows program that places black and Latinx college interns at top tech companies.

Educational Programs

Another solution to getting more black people into tech is to spark their interest when their minds are still impressionable. Teaching school-aged black children how to code and program can jump-start their professional path to a career in tech. In communities where public education resources are stretched thin, organizations like Black Girls Code, The Hidden Genius Project, and the New York Urban League’s Next Academy bring workshops, intensives, and afterschool programs that teach our minority kids the skills they need to make it in the tech world.

Form Our Own Businesses and Opportunities

If there isn’t a door, we have to make one. By forming our own tech companies and organizations we can employ people from our own black communities Just check out these black founders and CEOs making moves in the business world:

Co-founders like Wayne Sutton uses his organization Tech Inclusion to address diversity in the tech space through career fairs, training, and conferences.

Riana Lynn is a founder and CEO of a FoodTrace, which builds apps and software to link food distrubotrs with wholesale food buyers.

MentorMe, owned by Brit Fitzpatrick, is a platform that help businesses and organizations create mentorship programs.

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