“We’re announcing a $1 million Google.org grant to The Hidden Genius Project, an Oakland, CA-based organization that is working to increase the representation of black male youth in tech. By mentoring Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills, The Hidden Genius Project aims to shift perceptions of computer scientists and inspire the next generation of technologists. These funds will help the organization grow into new cities, train more staff, and expand their work to inspire more young people to pursue careers at the intersection of tech and their passions.”
In August, President Obama organized its first ever White House Demo Day, which “showcased the wide-ranging talents of innovators from across the country.”
This event allowed major companies like Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon to all get on board in adding diversities. According to a USA Today study, top universities have black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering students graduating at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them.
Why isn’t there more diversity in tech companies? Well, there’s a number of factors:
- Lack of training
- Hiring managers aren’t looking in the right places
- No flexible work hours
- No mentors
Or as Justin Steele, a principal at Google.org who wrote about the event, stated:
“One reason behind a lack of representation is perception; according to our research with Gallup, students are five times more likely to take an interest in computer science if they often see people who look like them in that field. As we often say, “you have to see it to be it.”
We’re so excited for this opportunity to flourish!
Written By: Cynthia Casimir