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Tech Inclusion Solution: Day 47: Build Social Capital/Connections Between Tech Companies and…

Photo: Audience during the Ability In Tech Summit

Tech Inclusion Solution: Day 47: Build Social Capital/Connections Between Tech Companies and Underrepresented Groups To Increase Career Development Opportunities

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: Build Social Capital/Connections Between Tech Companies and Underrepresented Groups To Increase Career Development Opportunities

As an organization, NewSchools Venture Fund has been committed to diversity and inclusion and is a underlying piece in the work that we do. While we have three distinct investment teams (Innovative Schools, Diverse Leaders, Tools & Services), we pay close attention to diversity and inclusion for students, educational leaders, and entrepreneurs. On the Tools & Services side, we have had Michelle Molitor from Fellowship for Race & Equity in Education (FREE), Sonja Gittens from Asana, Rachel Williams from Yelp, and Mandela Schumacher-Hodge from Kapor Capital talk about the importance of diversity in organizations. We are also working with Empirical Education and WestEd to think about diversity in terms of the customers that our ventures serve and product development.

Given these discussions and partnerships we have had to address diversity and inclusion in edtech, I would like to come together as a broader tech community to think about diversity and inclusion longitudinally beyond recruitment and retention strategies for an organization. We need to work with community leaders and local institutions and be present with underrepresented groups before they step foot in career expos or graduate from school. One of the biggest issue I believe is that underrepresented groups do not have as much strong social capital/connections that others do in the tech world. Access to human capital (mentors) and someone in tech to share educational and professional opportunities is extremely powerful. If tech organizations are present in the local communities and are actively engaging in social, educational, professional development early in someone’s lives, we will have more underrepresented people interested in pursuing tech careers and we would not have to hear the excuses we have all heard like “there are not many people of color available to recruit” and that there is a “trade-off between diversity and quality of applicants”.

Diversity and Inclusion In Tech Solution Submitted by John

Interested in sponsoring?

This is a unique chance to meet diverse engineers, entrepreneurs, designers and more! Contact us for more information.

Interested in volunteering?

We need volunteers to help make this an amazing event. Sign up to be a volunteer on our community site: //community.techinclusion.co/

Interested in a scholarship?

Apply for a scholarship on our community site: //community.techinclusion.co/

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.

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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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