Are We Missing the Mark on Diversity and Inclusion in Tech?: A Multi-Part Series Highlighting Black Experiences

Part 1: A White House Summit, the Pipeline Problem, and the Capitalization of Coding Bootcamps

On December 21, 2016 I joined over 100 technologists, innovators, and community leaders at the White House to celebrate the success of TechHire, an initiative started by President Obama in 2015 that rapidly trains and places people from all backgrounds into open tech jobs. Through the creation of this program, individuals from a variety of backgrounds (industrial, formerly incarcerated, low-income, career-changers, etc.) have a chance to learn skills worthy of lucrative salaries and stable work opportunities. During the summit, we shared our best practices and future plans for expanding access to training for open tech jobs, discussed diversity and inclusion in tech, and collectively strategized on next steps and where diversity leaders’ efforts are most needed.

In Part 1 of a multi-part series on Diversity and Inclusion in Tech, I will share the central problem and subsequent solutions attendees of the summit focused on, while drawing attention to the foundational issue we’re all ignoring in the process. In this piece, I focus on the conversations and initiatives in response to the alleged Pipeline Problem and how diversity leaders are choosing to understand and combat this issue. My focus is solely on Black experiences as that is what I study and hope to see additional pieces from others sharing their insights and research. Subsequent posts will dive into intersecting issues with the intent of painting a cohesive, albeit limited, picture of the racial inequalities Black people have consistently faced and how the perpetuation of discriminatory practices continue to undermine economic prosperity to ensure social stratification.

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