Google and diversity: Be careful what you say about it Laura Weidman Powers, San Jose Mercury News (June 10, 2014)
Google on Lack of Diversity: We’re Not Happy Hosted by Emily Chang, Bloomberg West (May 29, 2014)
Does Google Have A Diversity Problem? Hosted by Alyona Minkovski , Huffington Post (May 29, 2014)
Google Reveals Huge Disparity In Employee Workforce Demographics Anne Makovic , CBS San Francisco (May 29, 2014)
Laura Weidman Powers responds to the “greatest opportunity in tech” Chris Wolfgang, Silicon Prarie News (May 8, 2014)
Everything you need to know about day one of Big Omaha Alex Kuklinski, TechnoFYI (May 9, 2014)
Our Economy’s Secret Weapon Laura Weidman Powers, LinkedIn Influencer Post (April 28, 2014)
MICA sophomore headed to Silicon Valley as a CODE2040 fellow Andrew Zaleski, Technical.ly Baltimore (April 29, 2014)
Meet the UMBC undergrads who organized their school’s first hackathon Andrew Zaleski , Technical.ly Blatimore (November 26, 2013)
[Radio] Tristan Walker – Be an Authentic Entrepreneur Stanford Entrepreneurship Corner (April 14, 14)
Jordan Bradley: app developer and MICA sophomore a CODE2040 finalist Andrew Zaleski, Technical.ly Baltimore (April 11, 2014)
Minorities in tech: A vastly under-tapped market Cale Guthrie Weissman, pandodaily (March 10, 2014)
Points of Light’s Civic Accelerator Launches Its Spring 2014 Class Points of Light (April 8, 2014)
Why Go Nonprofit? Dale Miller, Stanford Graduate School of Business - Center for Social Innovation (February 27, 2014)
How to Leverage Diversity in Your Startup Meg Rayford, Tech Cocktail (March 4, 2014)
Connecting Kids from Diverse Backgrounds to Tech Skills Brian Ford, http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/02/28/tech-inclusion-all-stars-talk-connecting-kids-diverse-backgrounds-tech-skills?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+whitehouse/ostp+(WhiteHouse.gov+Blog+Feed:+Office+of+Science+and+Technology+Policy) (February 28, 2014)
Fellows Applicant and recent Fellow for 2014- My Journey to Silicon Valley: How one individual got into CODE2040 Fellows Program Alex Rodriguez, Medium (February 18, 2014)
An Event for Dozens of Silicon Valley Companies to Explore Diversity and Inclusion Laura Weidman Powers, LinkedIn Influencer Post (February 13, 2014)
Twitter co-founder to speak at Big Omaha in May Marco Santana, Des Moines Register (February 14, 2014)
CODE2040 Aims to Diversify the Face of Silicon Valley Jennifer Wadsworth, SV411/MetroNews (February 12, 2014)
Marc Andreessen Aims to Solve Tech's Diversity Problem with $500,000 Donation
Silicon Valley’s tech diversity problem is a well-documented phenomenon, particularly at the leadership level where the numbers of women and minorities are abysmally low. Over the summer, Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and other tech companies released their employee demographics in an effort to be more transparent about imbalances in diversity. Twitter revealed that its tech sector is 90 percent male and 58 percent white; Google’s tech team is 83 percent male and 60 percent white; Facebook’s tech division is 53 percent white and 85 percent male; and LinkedIn’s tech division is 83 percent male but only 30 percent white (Asian employees make up the majority of company’s tech team at 60 percent). The revelation of these diversity numbers has pushed tech companies to pursue better research, support of nonprofits, recruiting events, hiring and promotion practices, which the aforementioned companies have published along with their current numbers. According to some numbers, these revelations are coming just in time.
Andreessen Puts Spotlight on Tech Diversity With $500,000 in Grants
Marc Andreessen is using his clout and money to shine a light on three non-profits working to address the lack of diversity in tech.
The venture capitalist and his wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, are giving a total of $500,000 in grants to Code2040, Hack the Hood and Girls Who Code, he said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
In recent months, many of tech’s top employers disclosed the ethnic and gender makeup of their workforces for the first time, revealing a startling lack of women and minorities at companies from GoogleGOOGL +0.54% to AppleAAPL +2.49% to Pinterest. While awareness is rising around this problem, less attention has been paid to the groups working to come up with solutions.
Marc Andreessen gives $500,000 to diversify high tech
SAN FRANCISCO — Influential Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen and his wife, philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, are giving $500,000 to three non-profits working on the front lines to bring more diversity to the high-tech industry.
“Tech is not yet inclusive enough,” Andreessen said in an exclusive interview. “There is no question that there is a huge opportunity to make it more inclusive and open it up to traditionally underrepresented groups, such as women and underrepresented minorities.”
In tech, some minorities are too minor. This group wants to change that.
Before Randi Williams spent last summer in San Francisco, the 19-year-old computer-engineering student from Maryland had only one idea on how to break into the tech industry: Get a bachelor’s degree, get a master’s degree, then start applying for jobs. It’s a formula that seems routine except, perhaps, in Silicon Valley, where internships, connections, and even dropping out of college can be a means to a job at a tech startup.
Facebook Data Shows Diversity Gap
Facebook’s disclosure of the ethnic makeup of its workforce shows that the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley goes beyond software and engineering jobs. Code2040 Co-Founder and Executive Director Laura Weidman Powers speaks on “Bloomberg West.”
Laura Weidman Powers: CODE2040 Founder. Minority Advocate. Discomforter.
Find comfort in being uncomfortable.
That was the takeaway from a conversation with Laura Weidman Powers, the energetic, passionate founder of CODE2040, an organization that aims to close the achievement, wealth and skills gap for blacks and Latinos in the US by creating programs to encourage and assist them to find STEM jobs.
“It’s only when we work outside our comfort zones that anything truly meaningful gets done. That’s the case for myself. I’m uncomfortable everyday in my role at CODE2040. There’s a ton of learning on the job,” Powers said. “That’s hard and in some ways, that divides the world in half. There’s something you can learn from it if you really want to be a leader in the world.”
Google and diversity: Be careful what you say about it
There is a photo I have on my desk that shows 18 young, up-and-coming computer scientists at the start of their summer internships at Silicon Valley tech companies. The college students are in hoodies and jeans, smiling at the camera. They’re posing in the colorful, toy-strewn dining area of a hot San Francisco mobile gaming company.
It’s a typical Bay Area scene, except for one thing: All of these tech interns are Black or Latino.
I keep this photo handy as a call to action. I know that we can crack the code on the tech industry’s diversity challenges, something my organization, CODE2040, works on every day. But I also know that doing so is going to take a lot of innovation, hard work and collaboration, plus strong leadership from tech companies themselves.
Google on Lack of Diversity: We're Not Happy
Watch Iris Gardner, Manager of Events and Outreach speak to the issue of diversity in tech on Bloomberg West.
Does Google Have A Diversity Problem?
HuffPost Live discussing of whether Google has a problem with diversity in the workplace.
Google Reveals Huge Disparity In Employee Workforce Demographics
Google released a breakdown of its workforce demographics for the first time, showing its employees are predominantly white males. Watch Iris Gardner, Manager of Events and Outreach speak to the issue of diversity in tech.
Laura Weidman Powers responds to the “greatest opportunity in tech”
Laura Weidman Powers, founder of CODE2040, took the stage at KANEKO this morning to tell Big Omaha attendees about how her team is filling the gap between a growing minority population and a growing need for talent in the tech industry.
[...] “Software is eating jobs,” Powers said. She said STEM jobs are the fastest-growing category of jobs in the U.S., with 71 percent of those jobs specifically in computing. At this rate, she suggested, 1 million jobs in tech will be unfilled by 2020. “We have this mismatch between people looking for jobs and the skills they have.”
Everything you need to know about day one of Big Omaha
Silicon Prairie News kicked off their sixth Big Omaha yesterday to over 500 people at the KANEKO building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Day one kicked off with SPN’s Co-Founder & Chief Community Builder Jeff Slobotski and their CEO Regan Carrizales welcoming everyone and thanking sponsors and volunteers.
The mic was soon passed onto the Executive Director at KANEKO Mike Echternacht, who spoke about the building’s ongoing renovations while also showing off what the building will look like upon its completion. The event’s emcee, for the third time, is Antonio Neves — a TV personality who has appeared on major TV networks like Nickelodeon, NBC, PBS and BET News.
Our Economy's Secret Weapon
I’m thrilled to be joining the esteemed group pictured here on a panel at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles on Monday April 28.
The panel is convened by Van Jones’ organization YesWeCode, entitled Training NextGen Technologists. Chris Tucker, Mitch Kapor, Joi Ito, Van Jones, Trabian Shorters, and I will speak about the importance of educating our youth — particularly youth of color — in 21st century skills like coding and entrepreneurship.
I’ll be representing CODE2040, talking about our perspective on the future. We, for one, are optimistic. And that’s because we believe that our country has a secret weapon that will drive our economic growth moving forward.
MICA sophomore headed to Silicon Valley as a CODE2040 fellow
Baltimore app developer Jordan Bradley will work a summer internship with wearable tech company Jawbone, based in San Francisco[...] A sophomore interactive design major at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Bradley was chosen as a finalist for a CODE2040 fellowship.
Meet the UMBC undergrads who organized their school’s first hackathon
The pair of UMBC students thought up the idea for the hackathon during a 10-week summer fellowship with CODE2040, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit that places black and Latino computer science students in internships with West Coast startups. Ogwuche, a senior studying computer science, interned at Redbeacon, an online home services marketplace that was acquired by Home Depot.
Williams, a sophomore studying computer engineering, spent the summer doing front-end web design work forJawbone, an audio device and wearable tech company in San Francisco.
[Radio] Tristan Walker - Be an Authentic Entrepreneur
Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker and Company Brands, describes living your authentic brand as an entrepreneur. Traveling from the housing projects of Queens, New York to working on Wall Street and experiences at Silicon Valley tech firms, Walker discusses creating context to see opportunities and the importance of being in the problems and solutions business, in conversation with Stanford Professor Tina Seelig.
Jordan Bradley: app developer and MICA sophomore a CODE2040 finalist
It’s possible that Jordan Bradley, a sophomore interactive design major at the Maryland Institute College of Art, will be heading to Silicon Valley in a couple months.
As the economy gets stronger, jobs in the tech sector continue to boom. Every month around 9,600 technology-related jobs are added. Which is why teaching technology — be it MOOCs, code camps, meetups — has become such a popular entrepreneurial endeavor over the past few years.
But not everyone has been catching the wave. Minorities and women represent a tiny fraction of the robust technology economy. The good news, I suppose, is that there are advocates and leaders out there trying to fix this. And, well, they have their work cut out for them. South by Southwest held a fascinating, albeit depressingly under-attended, panel on this issue with a few of these leaders.
Points of Light's Civic Accelerator Launches Its Spring 2014 Class
The Points of Light’s Civic Accelerator – the first national startup accelerator dedicated solely to investing in civic ventures – announced today the 14 startups selected to participate in its spring 2014 program. This will be the fourth round of the Civic Accelerator since its founding in 2012. The ventures participating in the Civic Accelerator, which include for-profits, nonprofits and hybrids, all mobilize people to create positive change and come from across the United States.
The 14 ventures will gather in Seattle on April 22 for the start of an intensive, 12-week startup boot camp that includes mentoring, entrepreneur education, peer support and networking. Points of Light will offer two of the most promising ventures – as selected by the entrepreneurs themselves – a $50,000 investment following the conclusion of the program at a June Demo Day in Atlanta.
Why Go Nonprofit?
At the Center this winter quarter, we are working with 39 student groups who are preparing to launch their own social venture. The ideas milling about offer promising potential to move the needle on our world’s most pressing social and environmental problems, such as eliminating unhealthy dirt floors in low income housing, or solving the health, pollution, and waste problems associated with single use plastic bottles.
How to Leverage Diversity in Your Startup
As our country and workforce become more diverse, smart companies are rushing to find ways to leverage this diversity to gain a competitive edge. After all, if the clients and customers you are serving come from a variety of backgrounds, shouldn’t your team as well?
While diversity is studied in business schools and prioritized in human resource departments, the fact remains that our tech industry just doesn’t reflect the diversity of the United States. Today 83 percent of startups have all-white teams, and only 5 percent of the workforce is black and 4 percent Hispanic.
Connecting Kids from Diverse Backgrounds to Tech Skills
There is no better time than the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy’s Week of Action Celebrating STEM and Black History Month to highlight the tremendous progress being made at organizations, schools, and companies across America to advance the growing “Tech Inclusion” movement—aimed at connecting students from diverse backgrounds to technology classes, skills, and careers.
In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama issued a call to better equip American graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. The President noted that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are crucial to America’s economic future, and that students with STEM skills will be a driving force making the Nation competitive, creative, and innovative. And we know that it’s in the country’s best interest to ensure that this STEM workforce taps into America’s full talent pool and harnesses what is one of the Nation’s greatest assets—diversity.
Fellows Applicant and recent Fellow for 2014- My Journey to Silicon Valley: How one individual got into CODE2040 Fellows Program
It was my sophomore year of college and like many Computer Science students, I was looking for a summer internship. I first heard about the CODE2040 Fellows Program as an sophomore Computer Science major at UC San Diego through an alumna, Jennifer Argüello. So being a person that always strives for the best in opportunities, I decided to apply. In addition, I felt enthusiastic that for the first time there was a program that aided underrepresented minorities, specifically African Americans and Latinos, to get into this tech hub of entrepreneurship, mentorship, and pathways to success. So I submitted the application and unfortunately, a week later, I heard news that I will not be making the next round.
An Event for Dozens of Silicon Valley Companies to Explore Diversity and Inclusion
As I look ahead to my February calendar, one of the upcoming CODE2040 events that I’m particularly excited about is our gathering for companies that want to hire CODE2040 fellows, hosted by Ben Horowitz and the team at Andreessen Horowitz.
At CODE2040 we find, vet, and place top Black and Latino/a undergraduate and graduate talent in technical internships. Through our summer programming, we support these students, ensuring they and their host companies have an excellent experience; 90% of our 2013 Fellows got return offers from their summer employers.
We’ve had 130 companies express interest in hosting a Fellow this summer. Seeing this level of interest in CODE2040, we realized that this was a community of forward-thinking people who – regardless of whether they end up hiring our students – should be brought together to think and talk about how to attract, recognize, and support diverse talent.
Twitter co-founder to speak at Big Omaha in May
A regional technology conference announced some star power on Friday.
Evan Williams, the co-founder of the huge social media site Twitter, will take the stage at Big Omaha, one of four speakers the Silicon Prairie News event has announced. The conference generally draw technology and startup folks from a three-city region that includes Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines.
Big Omaha takes place from May 7 through 9, and will include 15 speakers.
Williams, 41, a Nebraska native, co-founded Twitter with Jack Dorsey in 2007. He grew up on a farm in Clarks, Neb., and briefly attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
CODE2040 Aims to Diversify the Face of Silicon Valley
Raised by a single mother in the rough stretch of New York’s Jamaica-Queens borough, Tristan Walker stayed indoors and counted dollars in his head. He’d be famous like the black men he saw on TV. Maybe basketball. Maybe movies. Maybe both. But he didn’t go outside to shoot jumpshots and he never played a part. The money would come though. It was only a matter of time.
“Growing up, I had one goal in life: get as wealthy as possible as quickly as possible,” Walker says. “I didn’t know what wealth was, but I knew I wanted it. I wanted to do well and I wanted to be able to take care of my family.”
hackUMBC: Overnight Innovation
22 teams of UMBC hackers spent an intense 24 hours late last semester in a battle of creativity and wits aimed at improving campus life. This first-ever UMBC hackathon—hackUMBC–was itself the product of a creative breakthrough, stemming from a conversation I had in a San Francisco Starbucks four months earlier.
Along with Perry Ogwuche, ’14, Computer Science and Mathematics, I spent last summer completing a fellowship with CODE2040, a non-profit organization striving to bring more African American and Latino coders into San Francisco and Silicon Valley. As part of the fellowship, the two of us had numerous conversations with ordinary people who had identified problems in their communities, used their coding skills to solve them, and built companies in the process. In that conversation at Starbucks, we asked ourselves, “How awesome would it be if everyone in Baltimore, or even just at UMBC, felt empowered to solve problems and change their community on a grand scale?”
[Video] Is There a Diversity Problem in Silicon Valley?
Laura Weidman Powers discusses the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley and the tech industry at-large. The Executive Director and Co-Founder of CODE2040, challenges the notion that meritocracy is the status quo in tech.
[Video] The Root 100 + AspireTV
Making our list this year for her broad and ambitious technological vision, Laura Weidman Powers is an innovator, working to create a Silicon Valley that is representative of America, not one where only one in every 14 tech employees is black or Latino. To do this, she co-founded CODE2040, which is named for how America’s ethnic demographics are projected to shift by the year 2040. For this Harvard grad, there’s no better time than the present to get more minorities involved in the tech space. Because of her work with CODE2040, Weidman Powers won the Stanford Social Innovation Fellowship as well as the Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green’s Black Male Achievement Fellowship.
Tristan Walker: Why combining technology with black culture is “the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetime”
I almost hate to ask Tristan Walker about life as an African American entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. He must get asked this by every waking reporter, venture capitalist, childhood friend, new hire, or even general well-wisher.
Most female entrepreneurs I know, for instance, loathe questions about their gender. It feels as if all of their accomplishments and uniquenesses are boiled down to the single issue that’s somehow meant to define them. To many, the very question feels more sexist. And successful African American founders who’ve raised money from the most elite of Valley venture firms are even more rare than women founders.
Here’s a riddle for you: if the number of science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) jobs is increasing by the day, and if the black and Latino populations are among the fastest growing in the US, how is it that just 5% of the current tech workforce are Latino/a, and only 4% are black?
CODE2040 and LPFI (Level Playing Field Institute) are working to improve the opportunity gap for black and Latino/a STEM workers, from education onwards.
Behind the Scenes at Tech Companies: Employees Teach Each Other How to Code
Successful, thriving company culture becomes evident in its employees. Specifically, employees will be empowered to find ways to give back and empower others — and there’s no better place to start than with your co-workers.
Online petition website Change.org is committed to empowering people everywhere to create change.
Laura Weidman Powers kicks off our Big Omaha speaker reveals
Over the next four weeks we will be announcing one Big Omaha speaker each Thursday. After the last announcement, tickets will go live Feb. 14 for our annual conference that brings the nation’s most passionate members of the entrepreneurial community together in Omaha, Neb. from May 7-9.
For our first reveal, we are excited to announce thatLaura Weidman Powers, the co-founder and executive director of CODE2040, will be joining us on stage!
Can you start a successful tech career later in life?
On Friday afternoon, Paul Graham, a founder of the Silicon Valley investment firm and startup “accelerator” Y Combinator, took to his Web site to defend himself against recent accusations that he is biased against female founders of tech companies. The controversy arose from an interview published in late December at the Information, a new tech-news Web site, in which Graham suggested that women were underrepresented in his portfolio of companies because “they haven’t been hacking for the past ten years.”
CODE2040's Latest Mission: Make Tech Internships More Accessible to All
CODE2040, named for the projected year white people will no longer be the largest demographic group in America, aims to address that imbalance. The nonprofit places promising black and Latino STEM students at summer internships with companies including Facebook, Etsy, and Jawbone, among others. While the program has had success with the interns it’s placed–90% of last summer’s fellows received full-time job offers–one challenge has been that the interview skills of potential fellows didn’t match their technical abilities.
20 Secret Tips From Young Movers and Shakers
My friends and colleagues are extremely successful young movers and shakers who are engineers, CEOs, lawyers, consultants, founders, film makers, designers, and, most importantly, awesome people. Recently, I crowd sourced some for their best pieces of advice for future movers and shakers, here it is: [...]
7. Take All Meetings… You never know when a connection will come back to help you. When I was starting up CODE2040, a nonprofit that creates pathways to success for Blacks and Latinos in the innovation economy, I felt totally overwhelmed by everything I had to do to get the organization up and running…
Not Focusing on African Americans is “Crazy”
Yesterday, StrictlyVC featured software mogul Mitch Kapor, who noted that VCs aren’t paying enough attention to the changing demographics of the country — even if it’s good business for his own investment firm, which is paying close attention. Indeed, among other things, Kapor goes to events hosted by the Latino Startup Alliance and aligns himself with NewMe, a San Francisco-based accelerator focused on underrepresented entrepreneurs.
But Kapor isn’t alone in trying to wake up Silicon Valley. Tristan Walker, a Palo Alto-based entrepreneur who cut his teeth running business development at Foursquare and is now running his own still-stealth startup, is also doing what he can to shine a light on underrepresented groups.
Cure Your Shopping Hangover with #GivingTuesday and CODE2040
CODE2040 has never done a fundraising campaign before, but when we received an email with information about #GivingTuesday — the charitable antidote to all the Black Friday (now Thursday!) through Cyber Monday consumerism that is typical of this time of year — we thought it would be fun to join the movement.
At CODE2040, we’ve been really fortunate to have an A+ lineup of individuals and corporations fund our pilot years. Now, as we are about to embark on year three, and our programming is moving into a growth phase, our fundraising needs are growing as well.
This is the power of a mentor
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” I don’t tend to like trite expressions like that (although I do really love rhymes) but my experience founding and running CODE2040, a nonprofit fellows program for black and latino students interested in pursuing careers in technology, has taught me that there is a deep truth to this turn of phrase.
Often, this quip is used to explain to why it is so important for young impressionable minds to be exposed to people in positions of authority and influence who look like them or come from similar backgrounds. That is, public figures who can be “seen” en masse.
The tech industry isn’t a hub of cultural diversity, that much we know. In fact, according to a Human Capital Venture Capital report — the only study ever conducted on VC-backed founders and their race, gender, education and age — 87% of founders are white and 92% of them are male. Those numbers have hit the public sphere, and programs such as CNN’s “Black In America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley” have used the HCVC report to drive home the Valley’s lack of diversity. But few are actively addressing the issue with viable solutions quite like Tristan Walker.
The Tech Mentorship Gap: How Code2040 Is Solving. What You Can Do. And How LinkedIn Can Help
Most anyone successful in technology has benefited from those who came before them – whether it’s indirect such as opensource code or more specific, like the guidance of a CS professor. Even if you’re just starting out in your career, there’s an opportunity to develop a ‘pay it forward’ mentality.
2013 Top Black Influencers
Who defined black America over the last year? Who is redefining their field, from the arts to the academy? Who are the most influential African Americans 45 and under? As we have since 2009, The Root looked back at the most significant moments in black news and culture and asked, “Who made this happen?” For more than 800 nominees, we measured their reach in the world and rated the substance of their contributions. The result: The Root 100 annual ranking of the most influential African-American leaders in 2013.
How I Hire: Searching For Mission-Driven Hustlers
I run a startup nonprofit called CODE2040. About a year ago, I was the only employee, reporting to a board of directors. Six months after launch, though, I brought on my first full-time hire, and now, a year later, we’re at six team members. By the end of 2014, I anticipate we’ll be at 12 people.
Solving Silicon Valley's Diversity Problem
Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) – Laura Weidman Powers, co-founder of CODE2040 and Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, discuss solving Silicon Valley’s diversity problem. They speak with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.”
LinkedIn Influencer Post: Disrupting Diversity in the Innovation Economy
TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the highlights of the year for CODE2040. We run a Fellows Program for top performing Black and Latino/a computer science students, and each year TechCrunch invites CODE2040 to bring several of our Fellows to the conference. It’s an amazing opportunity for the students to immerse themselves in the buzz and energy of the tech sector. Plus we set them up at our booth and have them practice giving their elevator pitch — an essential skill for any aspiring entrepreneur!
2013 OSCON Keynote Day 2 Recap
Laura Weidman Powers shed light on how big the racial diversity problem is in the tech industry in a way I’ve not quite seen before. Entitled “Diversity in the Innovation Economy: Why it Matters and What You Can Do About It” (full video here & short interview), Laura endeared herself to the crowd by sharing a middle school picture of herself, which softened this super awkward topic, before before citing some extremely sobering statistics. She started with some often repeated statistics regarding the engineering shortfall we’re headed for as an industry as an estimated 1.4 million new jobs will be available by 2020 but forecasts show only 400,000 computer science graduates by that time.
Tavis Smiley Show: Diversifying the Innovation Economy
While Silicon Valley is known for its leading technology, it has fallen behind in its representation of African Americans, Latinos, and women. Hank Williams, founder of the non-profit organization Platform, defines the “innovation economy”. [...] In part two of our conversation, “Diversifying the Innovation Economy”, Laura Weidman Powers, founding executive director of the Silicon Valley-based program Code2040, explains where many Valley companies find their talent, and how women and people of color are being left behind.
Opening Doors for Minorities in Technology
Silicon Valley thinks of itself as the cutting edge of more than just technology; it considers itself a force for social change. But in an era when the United States has elected and re-elected an African American president, only 1 in 18 leaders of technology firms is black or Latino, says Laura Weidman Powers. She is the cofounder, with her 2010 Stanford MBA classmate Tristan Walker, and executive director of Code2040, a nonprofit group that is working to open the doors in Silicon Valley for black and Latino engineers.
In its first year, Code2040 placed 5 fellows into paid internships at Silicon Valley companies, including Jawbone, tumblr, Rockmelt, and Circle, and expects to place 15 this summer. Before they enter the fellowship, applicants need to pass a coding exam, a phone screen, and then a matching process with Code2040’s host companies.
Every summer the fellowship program places high-performing Black and Latino software engineering students in internships with top startups and provides mentorship, leadership training, and network development. Their latest class has been announced and is heading off to some of the Valley’s best known companies. It includes some impressive women of color worth keeping an eye on. What will these women found one day?
Echoing Green Provides Seed Funding to CODE2040
Comprised of both Echoing Green and Black Male Achievement Fellows, this class includes a number of firsts for us: our first Fellow from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; first Fellow working in El Salvador; and our first Fellows working on social impact bonds.
Selected from an initial applicant pool of 2,872, the twenty-eight organizations in this year’s portfolio represent the top one percent and will join Echoing Green’s rich ecosystem of the most successful, innovative social change organizations and entrepreneurs around the world. Over the past twenty-five years, we have seen our Fellows inspire, mentor and partner with one another building upon the impact of Fellows that have come before them. This new class of 2013 Echoing Green and Black Male Achievement Fellows is no exception.
The eleven social entrepreneurs were selected based on their strategies for building lasting and positive improvements in the life outcomes of African-American men and boys [...] Each BMA fellow will receive $70,000 in seed funding, as well as technical training, consulting opportunities, mentoring, and access to the Echoing Green and Open Society alumni networks.
Inside Microsoft’s ‘Geek 2 Chic’ Fashion Show, Where Tech Types Strike A Pose For Charity [TCTV]
The tech-dominated San Francisco Bay Area isn’t exactly known as a hub for high fashion —Facebook’s new James Perse staff hoodies are about as fancy as things get around here — and fashion shows aren’t typically in our purview here at TechCrunch TV…These models weren’t the types you’d see at fashion shows in New York or Milan: Geek 2 Chic took 26 “geeks” from the local tech community and gave them full makeovers to take to the catwalk in front of a live audience. It was a fun opportunity to watch people get a little out of their element and have some fun, and of course it was all for a good cause. Check it all out in the video.
Rebooting the Runway at Geek 2 Chic
Silicon Valley “geeks” were the star of the show at the Geek 2 Chic fashion show benefiting Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) held recently at Bloomingdale’s Westfield SF Centre.
Presented by Microsoft, and set up on the second floor of the store, the opening reception featured a MakerBot Replicator 2 “printing” out party favors (Maker Faire robots) and guests taking a turn on the “dance floor” via Microsoft’s Dance Central 3. There were also passed nibbles of crab cakes and spring rolls as well as champagne and wine, and mixed drinks available at one of two bars. The reception was set to a backdrop of great music from DJ PTR.
Make Room for Tech's Fastest Growing Minority
Silicon Valley has long been lauded as a meritocracy that values achievement and hard work. In many ways, tech has been seen as a place of inclusion, where cool is determined by what you do instead of how you look. But the tech space has a long way to go in creating a truly inclusive environment. And one of tech’s fastest growing minorities–black women–is uniquely positioned to provide an endless pool of talent, innovation, and insight…
Support organizations that contribute to the growing presence of black women in tech. Organizations like Black Girls CODE, NewMe Accelerator, and CODE2040 are providing opportunities for black women (and men, too!) of varying ages to fulfill their potential as future tech leaders. From volunteering your time as a mentor to sponsoring events, there are many ways to contribute. Reach out to their directors with a description of your strengths and offer your support.
10 Valuable Resources for Minority Entrepreneurs
We recognize the single best hope for the nation’s ongoing competitiveness is to create inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems, and we understand there are both unique challenges and opportunities facing minority entrepreneurs. We’re encouraged both by the connections that are being made with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and the array of resources coming available for minority entrepreneurs, whether they need funding, want to find a mentor or educational opportunities, or are looking for networking and career development…here are 10 valuable organizations dedicated to helping diverse entrepreneurs grow and flourish.
Developing the ‘New Minority Entrepreneur’
While minorities are often deterred from taking the risk of starting a business, this must change…the problem could be resolved if programs and community efforts were made to help raise the visibility of minority entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to youth entering into technology and STEM fields. “Being an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to change the world,” said Powers…hopefully we will see more minorities working to change the world, one startup at a time.”
CODE2040, Out To Diversify Silicon Valley
People of color will become the majority in the United States by the year 2040. Some have noted that the minority achievement gap will not be closed that same year…CODE2040 aims to close the gap…“CODE2040 is a program I wished I had when I was a computer science student!” said Jennifer Arguello, co-founder of Latino Startup Alliance.
New Internship Helps Diversity Workforce
“By the year 2040, Blacks and Latinos, and folks of color in general, will be the majority in this country. We need to start putting folks into positions of leadership, leading this country forward and founding companies that lead this country forward.”
Digitalundivided Tech Talk
#DIDTechTalk with Laura Wiedman Powers, Executive Director of @Code2040. In this weeks tweetchat we talk about the digital divide in Silicon Valley.
Where the World Changes: City of Doers
A video featuring CODE2040 Executive Director Laura Weidman Powers and other Silicon Valley tech leaders.
Bringing Minority Engineering Talent to Silicon Valley, CODE2040 Celebrates One Year Anniversary
At each stage of my work here in helping to build the Fellows Program, with the support of the CODE2040 team and our invaluable allies – rolling out a national recruitment strategy, facilitating the review of hundreds of written applications, working with a plethora of top engineers to grade the coding exams, and now implementing the internship matching process – I think to myself, “this stage is so important – this is what we’ve been working toward all this time.”
I’ve realized as I look forward to the infinite possibilities of what CODE2040 can do and of what our Fellows will become, that I expect that feeling is going to stay with me for a very long time.
Google for Entrepreneurs Programs: CODE2040
Google is a sponsor of the CODE2040 program and offers technology training to the students.
CODE2040: Bringing Minorities Closer To Tech Opportunities in Silicon Valley
Last week, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Laura Weidman Powers, co-founder of CODE2040. A fellow program, CODE2040 works to bring minorities interested in the technology sector closer to software development, mentorship, and internship opportunities in Silicon Valley. Through our conversation, I was able to understand a bit more about their initiative, their goals, and more about the growing market CODE2040 is targeting.
Latin Americans Surge Into High-Tech Fields
As whole, immigrant-led start-ups in Silicon Valley account for 52.4 percent of all start-ups, according to arecent study by the Kauffman Foundation, which supports entrepreneurial efforts. Historically, Chinese and Indian engineers have had the largest share of high-tech companies in the region, generating new jobs and pumping money into the California economy. Indian immigrants founded 26 percent of these startups—more than the combined total of immigrants from Britain, China, Japan, and Taiwan, according to the foundation’s report…
To increase the number of Latinos and blacks in the hub of the high-tech industry, CODE2040 launched a pilot program to match undergraduate and graduate coders and software engineers with high-tech start-ups for summer internships.
Youth Radio Podcast: Silicon Valley Game Changers
Youth Radio talks with CODE2040 Executive Director Weidman Powers about the effort to mentor talented college students of color and get them on the fast track to top Silicon Valley firms.
Divide Talk: Diversifying the Tech Job Pipeline
CODE2040 founders Tristan Weidman Powers and Tristan Walker chat about their backgrounds and why they started CODE2040.
CODE2040 brings diversity to Silicon Valley
“I’m welcomed in the tech industry. I can go to the White House and hold my own. That’s really cool,” says Amy Quispe, a senior at Carnegie Mellon who interned at Tumblr as a fellow at CODE2040. Quispe attended the Tech Inclusion Round table at the White House in August and was recognized by several faces, thanks to CODE2040. “People are saying I’m a future leader in the industry and they want to work with me,” says Quispe who now has resources and connections in the field. “It’s nice to have a community to go to when I need to graduate. I don’t have to start from scratch.”
The connections and opportunities provided by CODE2040 are designed to combat the low number of people of color in the computer science and engineering community. Only 6.7 percent of Hispanics pursue a computer science degree and only 5 percent of African Americans.
CODE2040 Matches Black & Latino Student Engineers With Internships At Startups
“CODE2040 is a program I wished I had when I was a computer science student!” said Jennifer Arguello, co-founder of Latino Startup Alliance. “I didn’t know about startups until I was about to graduate and I’ve been enamored with them ever since. If the coming generation of minorities can be exposed sooner I want to help that happen and that’s why I am such a huge supporter of the program.”
Silicon Valley Fellowships for Black and Latino Engineering Students
Resumes only take you so far in the hiring process. To be really effective, you have to show what you can do, and meet the right people. To help lure talented minority students into the Silicon Valley culture, the non-profit code2040 launched a summer fellowship program to bring Black and Latino engineering students into the Valley for a summer.
These internships are not about making photocopies. In one case, a startup told their intern to make its Android app. Though he’d never coded in Android before, he picked it up and finished the code by the end of the summer. The students that succeed are the ones who make an impact by the end of their fellowship. They’re the ones who can learn on the fly, are excited about learning and can push out code.
Why is CODE2040 important? Census projections show that people of color will collectively be the majority in the United States in the year 2040. Yet there is no indication that the substantial economic achievement gap is closing at the same rate. CODE2040 aims to make a direct impact on the gap by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities participating in and leading the high value, innovation economy.
CODE2040 Seeking Latino, Black Software Engineers
Although it’s easy to talk about the problem of no Latinos or blacks in technology, CODE2040 is actively working towards addressing this issue. Please share this story with as many people as you can, the applications are here, and check out this video about the program.
Fellowship Backs Minority Computer Science Students
According to a report published by Anita Borg Institute For Women In Technology, Hispanics make up 30 percent of the total U.S. population, yet the Hispanic population accounts for only 6.7 percent of computer science bachelors’ degrees. African-Americans make up 13 percent of the population, but only 5 percent of graduate degrees in computer science.
That’s a gap CODE2040 wants to help close.
CODE2040 Seeking Latino, Black Software Engineers
CODE2040 is a non-profit organization that works to help black and Latino software engineers gain experience and networking opportunities in Silicon Valley. We wrote about the organization’s mission previously, but now applications are open for students who might want to take advantage of this great opportunity.
Starting today CODE2040 will be accepting applications for 20 spots for the summer of 2013; apps close later this year. Fellows get an internship with a top start-up, as well as mentoring, access to speakers, visits to other tech companies, executive coaching and lots more.
CODE2040 Fellows: Kaleb Ayalew
This past summer, as a CODE2040 fellow, I had the opportunity to listen to and chat with a lot of talented and experienced people in Silicon Valley. I really appreciated the opportunity to hear their thoughts and advice, and here I’d like to share some of the points they made that resonated most strongly with me.
CODE2040 Fellows: Alexandria Cattron
The greatest takeaway from my experience as aCODE2040 Fellow is that I now have direction and clarity in my career path and the confidence to start my own company. While attending Stanford as an undergrad, I was interested in starting a company but most of the people that I knew were on completely different career paths. When I took classes focused on entrepreneurship, I always felt like I was on the outside looking in and that I was behind because I was not as informed about or plugged into tech entrepreneurship in the Valley as everyone else seemed to be. Now I finally feel like I’m part of the Valley’s entrepreneurship culture. Through networking with all the participants in theCODE2040 program, including our speakers and my mentors, and learning from their experiences, I learned so much. Now I’m super excited to cultivate my own ideas for products and link up with others who are just as passionate as I am about fixing a problem in society using technology.
CODE2040 Fellows: Yuri Farias Gomes
This summer was one of the best in my life because it opened me up to a whole new world that I had no idea existed before. It all started when I got an e-mail from Tristan Walker with an invitation to participate in the brand newCODE2040 program. To make a long story short, I passed the exam to participate in the program and I became one of the first few CODE2040fellows.
Startups, by my previous understanding, were companies with 5-10 people, living in a sad office with some old machines, working on something not-that-interesting because, well, if it was interesting the company would not still be so small.
I was totally wrong.
CODE2040 Fellows: Amy Quispe
It was clear that one of the purposes of CODE2040 was to help us (the fellows) get an “in” into Silicon Valley. I’m happy to say that it worked. I recently went to the White House, representing 2040 in a Tech Inclusion Roundtable – and when I got there, I saw people that I already knew thanks to 2040. That was a pretty magical moment.
After having The Best Summer Ever, I’m very inspired about the tech industry. In my own university, I lead a small project to make APIs for school data and it’s been fun to watch it grow bigger into a university group and an intercollegiate project. However, I felt intimidated. Now that I’ve seen some of the startup world, I’m inspired to make something and hope that it grows big.
CODE2040 launched in February 2012, and was founded by Tristan Walker, who saw two main problems contributing to the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley: 1) lack of awareness – not enough knowledge about opportunities and about what it’s really like to embark on an entrepreneurial career; and 2) lack of access – specifically access to the networks needed to be successful in an entrepreneurial career.
One thing we find especially compelling about our mission is that this lack of diversity in tech and entrepreneurship is in the context of a massive demographic shift that our country is undergoing – Census projections show that people of color will collectively be the majority in the US in the year 2040. We want those same people of color to be represented in the ranks of the founders and leaders of the most innovative and successful companies in the country.
Kauffman Foundation Grant to Aid CODE2040 in Inspiring Underrepresented Engineering Students to Choose Startup Path
Sept. 10, 2012 – As CODE2040 begins recruiting computer engineering students for its 2013 summer Fellows Program, its efforts will be bolstered by a $330,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
The Kauffman Foundation has announced a two-year matching grant to the new San Francisco-based nonprofit organization. CODE2040 matches high-performing computer engineering students from colleges and universities around the country, including those from African-American and Latino populations, with Silicon Valley startups for hands-on summer fellowships. The goal is to inspire and encourage these students, who are underrepresented in high-tech startups, to consider working for a young company upon graduation or even starting their own.
Bringing Black Talent to Silicon Valley
The executive director of CODE2040, Laura Weidman Powers admitted it can be tricky to get plugged into Silicon Valley, where much of the hiring depends heavily on networking and personal referrals. “But CODE2040 is an easy sell to companies that are always looking for top talent,” she told The Root. “They want exceptional engineers, and our students want experience at top startups. It’s a win-win.”
Finding the Big Idea
You’ll need “tenacity, if you’re in sales, because you’re going to be turned down a lot. Patience, because engineers are unquestionably the important folks out here. Everything I do is just support work for them. You need to understand how to support them in the best way possible. Finally, never stop asking questions – that is paramount. Also, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. A big reason for me getting to where I am is because I am willing to ask six questions when other people are only willing to ask five.”
BWest Tech Minute: CODE2040
“Silicon Valley has a long history as a launchpad for innovative companies and entrepreneurs, but for minority engineers, the opportunities have been few and far between. Enter CODE2040…the brainchild of Tristan Walker, a former Foursquare exec turned entrepreneur”
Tristan Walker on Life After Foursquare
Walker is leaving it all behind. Later this month, he’ll take on the new role of entrepreneur-in-residence at the fabled venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has invested in companies the likes of Zynga, Jawbone and Airbnb. He wants to parlay this latest post into his own company.
Doing what exactly is still unknown, but Walker certainly remains someone to watch. For more insight, we talked with Walker about the not-for-profit Code 2040, a program he founded to bring high performing African American and Latino students to startups in the Valley, and his new role as EIR.
Silicon Valley's Diversity Challenge
CNN Money interview with Tristan Walker, CODE2040 founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
NSBE - CODE2040 - GROOMING BUSINESS LEADERS IN SILICON VALLEY
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