Code2040 is a San Francisco non profit that focuses on increasing diversity in the technology sector.  Recently the organization successfully raised $5.6 million to help fuel these efforts thanks to the support of  the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation along with a few others.  The new funding will go to help support the expansion of the organization and assist in educating and employing more black and Latino students at tech corporations.

Diversity in tech is one of the most challenging sectors to improve upon in recent memory.  The learning curve is very specific and involves access to resources that many under represented groups do not have.  The issue is connecting under privileged individuals with these resources and help them over a period of years to be ready for future opportunities.

The current political climate makes things a bit difficult to provide a growing community with these resources, but not impossible.  Code2040 is a great example of an organization promoting this, but while reaching out to large California and New York based operations is good, looking for support in the minority community could help as well.  Not saying their not but there are billion dollar minority corporations that are always looking to support these type of initiatives.

According to USA Today, “with the new funding, Weidman Powers says Code2040 will press forward on other fronts as well. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation gave $3 million. The rest came from the foundation of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and his wife Sara, an anonymous donor and some other individuals and companies”  These donations will help propel Code2040 to achieve its major 3 goals over the next 4 to 5 years.  These goals include:

  1. Code2040 says it plans to increase the number of students participating in its programs to 1,000 from fewer than 200 in 2017.
  2. It’s looking to grow its overall community more than sevenfold to 40,000 by 2020. This community will include black and Latino techies and their allies, from colleagues to policymakers to industry leaders, Weidman Powers says.
  3. And Code2040 is launching a team to coach companies on how to diversify their corporate cultures. That team will create curriculum based on the insights Code2040 has gleaned from working with dozens of tech companies.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission despite “nine percent of graduates from top engineering programs are black and Hispanic,” the two groups make up only about 5% of the workplace of major technology companies.   In addition, “USA TODAY analysis of the employment records of Facebook, Google and Yahoo revealed that African Americans and Hispanics are also sharply underrepresented in non-technical jobs such as sales and administration.”

The numbers are tough but change could come quick if the correct amount of support is given.

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