Facebook Launches TechPrep To Grow The Pipeline By Empowering Black And Latino …

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook Launches TechPrep To Grow The Pipeline By Empowering Black And Latino Parents.

Plenty of parents dream their children will someday become doctors or lawyers—but programmers, not so much. SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is launching a new effort to expose more students and their parents to the promise of computer science as part of the company’s broader push to increase the ranks of underrepresented minorities in tech.

It’s no secret that women and minorities are underrepresented in the tech community — nearly every tech giant in Silicon Valley has acknowledged as much by simply sharing their employee demographic info. Although TechPrep is generally a resource hub for learners, parents and guardians interested in careers in tech, Facebook is first focusing on communities where there are high populations of black and latino people. “Underrepresented minorities, who by 2050 will comprise more than 50 percent of our population, are disproportionately lost at every transition point in their STEM, including computer science and programming, studies and careers,” Congressperson Eddie Bernice Johnson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement. “When so much of our present and our future is dependent on computer science and programming, we cannot afford to continue hemorrhaging so much talent.

They found: “What we see around coding and programming, is that there are some communities in which, because the parents’ capacity is not there — the guardian —that we’re losing whole generations of people who could be guided into these really lucrative, engaging, satisfying careers,” Facebook Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams told me. “For most of them and for us, we really need to focus on how we build the capacity of these influencers. The new site includes sections where parents and “learners” — Facebook won’t call them students, because you don’t have to be in school to learn! — can find examples of jobs in the CS field, online classes to take, and organizations to join. The site, available in English and Spanish, is geared toward people of color and women, groups which traditionally have had little exposure to careers in coding.

They are the most positive people in terms of how they view their children’s potential. and we share that belief.” There’s no harm in trying to grow the pipeline of diverse candidates, but the lack of diversity in tech is due to more than just a pipeline problem. The website offers information about programming careers; video interviews with programmers from underrepresented groups; and links to online and in-person resources. TechPrep lays out the variety of roles a programmer might pursue and profiles several tech workers, such as a data analyst, technical art director and electrical engineer. It also touts programmers’ average annual starting salary of $62,000; companies like Facebook, Google Inc. and competitors are known to pay some talented programmers six-figure starting salaries out of college. Meanwhile, an estimated 4.5% of college graduates who received degrees in CS were black and 6.5% were Hispanic, according to data from the Computing Research Association.

Research commissioned by Facebook and conducted by McKinsey & Co. found that many parents are unsure how to guide children who demonstrate an early interest in computer science. Wiliams said Facebook will attract users to the site by partnering with community groups such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Society of Hispanic Engineers, by advertising on the Facebook platform and by going directly into community centers, libraries and other meeting places to tell people about the tool. The company will push ads about the site into News Feed, particularly targeting people in cities with high minority populations or who have shown interest in minority or gender-based groups. The site recommends games, online courses and community events, among other resources, to keep students engaged and learning according to their age and skill level.

Bias is something that’s critical in this and it’s not a pipeline issue.” She later added, “We are doing a number of different things, but you can’t do those things and succeed if you don’t also get a more robust pipeline coming in. Twitter, for example, just hosted a chat Tuesday night around the #ILookLikeAnEngineer movement from August that challenged stereotypes around engineering. She said she sees TechPrep as a step toward bringing adults into the field quickly while also drawing into it the children who will make up the future workforce.

Americans use the products these companies make every day, yet the companies themselves do not mirror the demographics of the United States in race, gender or age.

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