Provide Earlier Computer Science Education To Underrepresented Communities

Photo: Speaker during Tech Inclusion NY Conference

Tech Inclusion Solution: Day 37: Provide Earlier Computer Science Education To Underrepresented Communities

100 Solutions to Diversity and Inclusion in tech.

Since the inaugural Tech Inclusion Conference in 2015 we have received and granted over 100+ scholarship applications to attendees. For each scholarship application we ask one simple question “What solutions would you like to see for diversity and inclusion in tech?” Below is a series leading up to the 2016 Tech Inclusion Conference of “100+ Solutions to Diversity and Inclusion in tech”. The Theme for Tech Inclusion 2016 Conference is Inclusive and Sustainable Innovation and will be held October 26th — 27th at the Innovation Hangar in San Francisco. Tech Inclusion Conference is presented by Google for Entrepreneurs. The conference will feature a career fair, a startup showcase and an tech innovation demo hall. Early Bird tickets are on sale now.

Solution: Provide Earlier Computer Science Education To Underrepresented Communities

My name is Betsy and I am a first generation low-income Latina student at Stanford University, majoring in Symbolic Systems. This summer, I am teaching twenty girls in San Francisco computer science through Girls Who Code (GWC), a nonprofit that works to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Through my work in the classroom, I have learned about the importance of both early computer science education and community.

Diversity and inclusion in tech does not require one solution, but many. For starters, it is important to recognize the intersectionality of the problem. Spaces need to address that we not only need more women in the tech industry, but also more people from the Latino and Black community, the LGBTQ community, and lower socioeconomic background. A way to address many of these areas is to have earlier computer science education. Building student confidence and giving them the tools to succeed at an earlier age can help combat the imposter syndrome that many students who are minorities in the tech industry feel during college.

My work with GWC has also taught me the value of finding a community within the tech industry. Programs such as GWC and CODE 2040 (a program that creates programs that increase the representation of Blacks and Latino/as in the tech sector) are great models of building communities for minorities in tech. I have seen the lack of diversity and inclusion during my internship at an education technology company last summer, which drove me to work with GWC this year. I hope to be able to learn even more from the speakers at the Tech Inclusion conference and build a community with everyone there!

Diversity and Inclusion In Tech Solution Submitted by Betsy

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About Change Catalyst:

Change Catalyst empowers diverse, inclusive and sustainable tech innovation — through education, community engagement and mentorship. Change Catalyst is a Certified B Corp, winning the “Best for the World”​ award for community impact in 2014 and “Best in the World”​ overall in 2015.

Tech Inclusion:

Our Tech Inclusion programs explore and develop innovative solutions to tech diversity and inclusion. We partner with the tech community to solve diversity and inclusion together through conferences, career fairs, strategic consulting and training. Our work spans the full tech ecosystem, including: Education, Workplace, Entrepreneurship and Policy.

Join us at the 2016 Tech Inclusion Conference

The Change Catalyst Team

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Follow all 100 Solutions to Diversity and Inclusion in tech in our Tech Inclusion Medium Publication here.

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