The book, How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM works to close the tech skills gap by helping launch the careers of young technologists from underrepresented communities. We applaud two CompTIA member communities, who are financially supporting charities that encourage women and ethnic minorities to pursue information technology careers.
The Advancing Diversity in Technology community donated $5,000 to Black Tech Mecca, whose mission is to inspire the development of thriving black tech ecosystems to ensure that black people are full participants in the global technology sector. The nonprofit organization uses data to paint a clearer picture of black participation in local tech ecosystems, and then identifies impediments to the engagement and mobility of black tech workers, crafting strategies with local stakeholders for removing barriers and creating opportunities.
The Advancing Women in IT community donated $5,000 to Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. Through in-person classes and community support, Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and everyday lives.
The communities’ respective donations are part of an annual process by CompTIA to give back to local communities through philanthropy, bringing positive awareness to selected charities and CompTIA, and acting as a way of encouraging individual charitable service.
This year, CompTIA’s member communities and councils chose to support 17 nonprofit organizations, giving a total of $170,000 to philanthropic causes.
Promoting gender and ethnic diversity in IT was a clear theme among this year’s contributions by CompTIA communities. Collectively, several communities gave $35,000 to Genesys Works, which helps disadvantaged youths realize their full potential through workplace experience. They also donated $25,000 to TechGirlz, which encourages middle-school girls to explore the possibilities of technology to empower future careers.
Fabian Elliott, the co-founder and CEO of Black Tech Mecca, said the CompTIA contribution would help the organization continue to identify and break down the institutional barriers that discourage people of color from pursuing or advancing in tech careers.
“The contribution from CompTIA is a big help as we continue to disrupt the status quo in building more inclusive tech ecosystems,” he said. “We will use the proceeds to further refine our research on black tech ecosystem development, continue flagship education programming, and stand up our advocacy platform. We also just released our Chicago report, which is first-ever, fully comprehensive black tech ecosystem assessment for a city. CompTIA was one of our sponsors for this report.”
“I am proud to be a part of an organization such as CompTIA for making the donation to Black Tech Mecca. The work Black Tech Mecca is doing to increase the participation of minorities in the tech sector is amazing. The analysis provided in their report, Unleashing Chicago’s Black Tech Ecosystem, presents information on where we stand today and points us in a direction that will not only improve our local economy but the future of our children and grandchildren for generations to come,” said Randolph Carnegie, an executive council member of Advancing Diversity in Technology (ADIT) and president and managing director of Ken-Kor Consulting Inc. “It takes resources to fund objective analysis such as this and I am proud to be a part of CompTIA’s ADIT community.”
Fellow ADIT member Nicole Williams, managing director of Sajiton, echoed Carnegie’s comments: “Black Tech Mecca has been extremely instrumental with its data, research, and ecosystem strategies on how to guide by identifying the reason and actionable solutions on how to close the diversity gap within the technology industry. Their report is an example of how the think-tank adds some valuable insight and guidance on how to engage in closing the technical candidate shortage gap by increasing diversity in the technology industry.”
“The technology industry has seen rapid change in everything from mobile payment to wearables gadgets with this comes more ways people from all cultures interact with the digital world,” added Williams. “With this change comes growth and the tech industry is experiencing a shortage of technology professionals for key positions who can bring a variety of perspectives, viewpoints, and objectivity on how to shape the next wave of technical innovation.”
The ADIT and AWIT Communities are focused on increasing the diversity within the tech workforce and helping their members grow their careers within tech. Like ADIT’s support of Black Tech Mecca, AWIT saw a similar trend with the charity it supported this year, Girl Develop IT.
LeeAnn Kinney, outreach and special initiatives director for Girl Develop It, said the CompTIA donation will help her organization better engage women hailing from underrepresented and low-resource communities.
“These are women who continue to be left out due to multi-factorial socioeconomic disadvantages,” Kinney said. “Our vision is to dig deeper, to burst the bubble, so that we are reaching and empowering minorities through code and community.”
To date, nearly 100,000 women have participated in Girl Develop It classes.
The Advancing Women in Technology community works to empower women with resources and information to positively impact their technology careers and inspire women to choose careers in technology.
The Advancing Diversity in Technology community seeks to be the leading advocate for the advancement of African-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos within the technology industry who have traditionally been underrepresented.
The T in STEM book is proud to support both of these communities!