“Stomping the divide” and other worthy missions
The tech industry has worked to diversify its workforce in recent years, but change is slow in coming. As reported in the Diversity in High Tech report published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, people of color—Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans—comprise only about 32 percent of the tech industry. Not surprisingly, the gap is even larger in executive positions, with 83 percent of those roles being held by white workers.
In the face of this disparity, several tech-related organizations have grown up in an effort to attract and support more people of color to the IT community. The following groups provide scholarships, training, and networking resources to help more minorities get their start in the growing tech field.
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples of North America in STEM studies and careers. (aises.org)
Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA)
Black Data Processing Associates is an international organization that puts on technology conferences, local chapter events, continuing education and professional development events, academic scholarships, and mentoring and career opportunities for Black IT professionals. BPDA also organizes community outreach programs for students. (bdpa.org)
Black & Brown Founders
Providing Black and Latinx entrepreneurs opportunities to network and learn about startup bootstrapping through online resources and events, Black & Brown Founders aims to “give entrepreneurs knowledge, tools, and cutting-edge tactics to launch startups without relying on venture capital.” (blackandbrownfounders.com)
Black Girls Code
Inspiring young girls from under-represented communities to code, Black Girls Code pursues its mission of helping to grow the number of women of color working in the tech industry. The organization focuses on bridging this gap by teaching young girls the early skills they need in order to have a head start in programming. (blackgirlscode.com)
Blacks in Technology (BIT)
A global networking platform dedicated to “stomping the divide” for Black people in the tech industry, Blacks in Technology outlines industry standards for creating a more diverse workplace.
BIT also offers its members access to a network and community of other professionals with opportunities for mentorship. (blacksintechnology.net)
A nonprofit organization dedicated to activating, connecting, and mobilizing the largest racial equity community in tech, Code2040 stages events, provides training and early-career programs, and promotes knowledge-sharing to ensure that Black and Latinx technologists have the tools and network to enable racial equity throughout the tech industry. (code2040.org)
DigitalUndivided focuses on fostering more inclusivity in entrepreneurship by empowering Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs. It sponsors an eight-week virtual accelerator program, plus various other programs, initiatives, and research to uplift Black and Latinx female founders in tech. (digitalundivided.com)
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)
A professional organization for under-represented minorities working in engineering and STEM roles, NACME provides college scholarships, resources, and opportunities for individuals of color interested in pursuing a degree in STEM. (nacme.org)
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
A student-governed organization with 500 chapters and nearly 16,000 active members, the non-profit NSBE is comprised of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. (nsbe.org)
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
Started in a garage in 1974 by a group of Hispanic engineers, the Society of His- panic Professional Engineers has grown into a nationwide professional association boasting more than 11,000 members and 375 college and university chapters. (shpe.org)