Kathleen Martin

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2020
Lexington, Kentucky
Many Americans have changed career paths for tech jobs in recent years, as they generally pay well and have good benefits. However, despite the growing popularity of tech jobs, Black talent is still extremely underrepresented in the industry. Women account for 26.7% of the tech workforce, and, Black women specifically, make up only 1.7%, according to a 2021 report from AnitaB.org. Similarly, Black professionals as a whole only account for 7.4% of the tech workforce.   
Thursday, Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit driving change in the American workforce and education systems, released its Purpose-Built to Advance Equity: Expanding Opportunities in Tech for Black Americans report which highlights organizations working to change those demographics. Developed with support from Comcast NBCUniversal, the report is based on an analysis of over 200 startups and educational institutions that are dedicated to developing Black talent in tech.
According to a recent JFF survey of more than 1,000 Black adults, over 6 in 10 do not currently work in digital or IT, but would be open to changing careers. Yet, over half of those surveyed said they were unsure of where to begin (55%) or that they lacked the financial resources (51%), and skills (52%). Additionally, 45% of respondents said they lack the connections needed to start a tech career, showing that accessibility to resources is a major issue.
Michael Collins, vice president at JFF and a lead author of the report, believes these obstacles are “systemic,” starting from youth.
“To disrupt historic patterns of occupational segregation in technology, we cannot ignore the systemic barriers to access and advancement that begin in K-12 schools and persist in communities and in the workplace,” he said in a press release. “The most successful models are not only helping Black talent build skills and secure employment, but also making long-term investments in mentorship, social capital, and networks that enable Black professionals to access—and sustain—careers in technology.”
When asked about methods they thought would be effective in encouraging more Black students and workers to get into tech, survey respondents highlighted the need for positive representation and mentorship as examples. According to JFF, 55% of Black Americans reported never having a career mentor, and, of those who did, 7% haven’t had mentors that look like them.
“We feel welcome when we see other people who look like us represented. When all the ads and recruiters are white, it sends a negative message. Likewise when they are all men. Thank goodness for groups like Girls Who Code,” said a male respondent.
Continue reading: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/24/jobs-for-the-future-report-highlights-need-for-tech-opportunities-for-black-talent.html


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