Fun Fact: The fourth listing on Google found when you search “minorities in tech” (without quotations) is: “Technologies found in Minority Report.” Looks like people really enjoyed that movie…and there aren’t many minorities in tech.
And yes, while we have made headway with funneling some capitol to startups. Dave Mcclure’s stance in TechCrunch is a more “put money where your mouth is” approach on catalyzing women in tech, rather than sitting around and talking about it. But the problem with this approach is that we can’t dole out investor money to tech minorities that don’t exist.
Our nation needs to incentivize and encourage minorities to pursue a career in STEM from a young age. Tech careers can be intimidating, and if young women aren’t exposed to things like programming at a young age, they will probably be hesitant to dive in when they are older.
To quote Girls Who Code, (a new org funded by Twitter to educate adolescent girls in engineering and tech):
“Today, just 3.6% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women, and less than 10% of venture capital-backed companies have female founders. Yet females use the internet 17% more than their male counterparts and represent the fastest growing demographic online and on mobile, creating more than two-thirds of content on social networking sites. Technology companies with more women on their management teams have a 34% higher return on investment, and companies with women on technical teams increases teams’ problem-solving ability and creativity.
The numbers speak for themselves. By 2018, there will be 1.4 million computer science-related job openings, yet U.S. universities are expected to produce enough computer science graduates to fill just 29% of these jobs. And while 57% of bachelor’s degrees are obtained by women, less than 14% of computer science degrees are awarded to women.”
The good news is:
For adult women and minorities, the barriers to entry as becoming less and less. I learned HTML/CSS through a few books and some Youtube tutorials. There are free tutorials and sites that can help you get your feet wet with whatever code you are interested in learning. In fact the worldwide organization, Railsgirls, conducts weekend-long programming events, equipped with hard/software and personal “coaches” to get you started with Rails (AKA Ruby on Rails, the web code derived from just plain ol’ Ruby). Resources, like Codeacademy.com offer FREE self-driven lessons to learn anything from HTML to Python.
More and more of these resources are popping up that are making software development more approachable. Who knows what we could create with a realistically represented pool of developers and designers working together.