It’s well documented that Black talent is underrepresented in the tech sector. A recent report found that racial gaps have widened in tech despite rising pay among its top earners.
In response, many groups are taking innovative approaches to correct a legacy of biases and inequalities in professional settings, including tech companies. In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting several organizations that support underrepresented groups in tech – especially Black students and professionals – through skill building, hiring, networking, and more.
Read on to learn about some of the groups shaping a more equitable future in tech talent:
People of color are predicted to become the majority of the American population during the decade after 2040, and Code2040 wants the tech industry to reflect that. This organization provides support and programming for early-career Black and Latinx tech talent, helping them access educational resources, relationships, and opportunities across industry-leading tech organizations. Code2040’s programming offerings include:
- Workshops, mentorship, and networking in the Early Career Accelerator Program (ECAP).
- A 9-week Fellows Program, which provides internship placement, workshops, and opportunities to advocate for racial equity.
Black Girls Code, or “BGC,” was founded by a mother who wanted to nurture her child’s curiosity. Kimberly Bryant, herself a successful pharmaceutical and biotech professional, was moved to action by the lack of racial and gender diversity in the coding programs available to her daughter. This planted the seeds of Black Girls Code, which has grown into an industry-wide movement to inspire and educate young women of color with interests in STEM. With chapters across the U.S., BGC offers programming in several tech areas, including artificial intelligence, game design, robotics, blockchain, and more. The overarching goal: to close opportunity gaps by training 1 million girls to lead in STEM by 2040.
This organization aims to “Stomp the Divide,” promoting Black professional excellence and greater representation of Black employees in the tech industry. With chapters across the U.S. and in 11 other countries, Blacks in Technology curates events, media, community outreach, and other resources to support Black professionals, many of whom may otherwise feel isolated and disconnected in career paths where Black talent is notably underrepresented.
Black Tech Pipeline connects tech companies that are sourcing talent with Black professionals seeking employment in tech. Recruiters who are looking for new talent can join the site’s job board and build their own individual company landing page. On the other side, those who are seeking employment opportunities can advertise their skills in a talent database. Black Tech Pipeline will also work with recruiters to highlight talent in their database, assemble shortlists of potential hires, and follow up with hired talent to provide employers with feedback for 90 days after they start work.
In addition to their feedback-based recruiting model, Black Tech Pipeline also specializes in promoting events and sourcing for speakers and workshop leaders.
Based in Toronto, BPTN maintains a network of over 20,000 members in North America, connecting Black tech professionals to educational and mentorship opportunities. These include programs like Masterclasses, individual and group mentorship sessions, and recruiting opportunities. Notably, BPTN manages OBSIDI, a global online network that allows Black professionals to network with each other, find mentors/mentees, and connect to potential job opportunities. On the employer side, BPTN partners with major tech companies to connect them to Black talent, improve their employer brand and thought leadership to attract candidates, and improve their abilities to retain and promote diverse hires.
Hack.Diversity began with a mission to improve Black and Latine/x/o/a representation among Boston’s innovative companies, and after just five years, the results speak volumes. Since they accepted their first group of Fellows for the 2017 Cohort, Hack.Diversity has nurtured a network of over 250 professionals, helping propel them to careers at over 35 companies (think big names like GE, Wayfair, and Toast). The program selects small groups of graduates from 2- and 4-year colleges and coding bootcamps, training them for success through coaching and direct professional mentorship. The program culminates in summer internship placements within partner organizations. Hack.Diversity’s success in Boston is a testament to how companies can cultivate stronger, more diverse talent through increased access and mindful community engagement.