Less than one percent of Latinas are in computing…let that sink in a bit. “1%“
There is no question that if you were to step onto the grandiose ‘campuses’ of Facebook, Google, Twitter and other notables in the news lately, UBER anyone?, you will not see ‘diversity’ front and center or ‘brown folks’ in the higher ups in the hierarchy. In fact, many of these companies and similar have both recruiting and retention problems of women, Black and Latino employees, due to the bad rep ‘toxic workplaces’. According to a first-of-its-kind-study (tech companies don’t usually publicize their retention data) from the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Harris Poll, among one of the findings is ‘underrepresented women of color were significantly more likely to cite unfairness as a reason for leaving than white and Asian women (36% versus 28%).’
Millions are spent to develop diversity programs, disrupt ‘traditional’ recruiting and hire ‘tech inclusion’ consultants to advise technology companies on building ‘inclusive’ cultures. Millions! The pain point of diversity, has even created a new industry!
We Move Forward…
With all the dismal diversity stats, why even bother to turn Latinas, Women of Color onto STEM careers? Because, we belong. That’s right, WE BELONG. And to note, we are going to save Amerikkka! With the U.S. economy in need of domestic tech talent (no more offshoring or outsourcing people abroad, people) – the female workforce is at more than 50%, and Latinas, a large percentage of female overall population are active contributors in the workforce already. It only makes sense that in demand IT, tech-related fields and within our access, match our intellect, innovative spirits and important perspectives – the most promising career paths for us lie ahead!
A number of organizations are doing amazing impact work by calling out the tech industry (such as with the above mentioned study) and removing barriers to entry for People of Color (POC) , by helping to train, retain – building lucrative and fulfilling careers. Understanding what you are against is key, but it should not stop anyone from pursuing their rightful passion to become a technologist! There is no shortage of talented POC to work in technology either – it’s a myth, y’all! The future of the workforce is and will include us — especially Latinas, again, one of the largest untapped talent pools, the fastest growing female demographic in the United States , as cited on the website of Technolochicas, a collaborative project of the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) and Televisa Foundation designed to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in technology. In fact, Technolochicas is one of the impact organizations doing the ‘disrupting’ with its current events, local outreach – these chicas hold jobs at the very technology companies with the ‘diversity’ issues – – they are holding it down!
NOTE: Published 4/2017 – Just recently, Technolochicas 2.0 Launch event happened – a one-day conference at Google. Special guest, Eva Longoria who as an activist actress, producer and philanthropist, talked about her research and led a discussion with top science and tech executives from all over the nation.
Credit: San Francisco/Bay Area ABC News/Channel 7 coverage of Technolochicas event at Google