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What It Will Take to Make the Tech Industry More Diverse

Between 1984 and 2013, the number of women versus men earning computer science bachelor’s degrees decreased from 37 percent to 18 percent. Blacks and Hispanics hold a disproportionately low amount of these degrees as well. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Susan Colby, Helen Ma, Kelsey Robinson, and Lareina Yee discuss how to solve these issues.

Bringing New Faces into IT

In the first place, McKinsey research indicates that only 44 percent of females are even willing to try computer science, compared to 53 percent of blacks and 54 percent of Hispanics. That being said, blacks and Hispanics statistically have higher confidence that they would be good at computer science compared to whites and Asians, meaning it is not likely fear of failure keeping them out of the industry. They do however generally have less access to computers, bottlenecking any interest they might have. Women meanwhile have 30 percent less confidence in their computer science abilities than men, and they are more likely to drop out of pursuing computer science the further into the career path they go.

Overcoming these barriers will require some work for every organization. You might consider building your own outreach program that teaches students about computer science at a malleable age. Schools also need to articulate better how individual classes, like algebra and calculus, can ultimately add up to a job as a data scientist rolling in green. Send your tech employees to schools and let them talk about their meaningful accomplishments. Slowly but surely, we can carve the change we want to see, but it will require a lot of coordinated efforts in the industry.

You can view the full article here: https://hbr.org/2016/03/315-global-digital-ic-diversifying-the-tech-industrys-talent-pipeline

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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