This summer, Twitter Inc.’s new diversity chief met employees to discuss whether they felt welcome at work. Among those who said they sometimes felt excluded, according to people familiar with the matter, were conservatives. The feedback reflects the strains in Silicon Valley as technology companies seek to bolster diversity of all kinds among their hundreds of thousands of employees.
Given the ubiquity of the computing field in society, the diversity gap in computer science (CS) education today means the field might not be generating the technological innovations that align with the needs of society’s demographics. Women and certain racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in learning CS and obtaining CS degrees, and this cycle perpetuates in CS careers. Many — including tech companies and educational institutions — have taken steps to make CS more appealing and accessible to these groups, yet the diversity gap endures.
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairman, G. K. Butterfield (NC) and Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), Co-Chair of the CBC Diversity Task Force, announced December 3, 2015, that seven national African American tech professional organizations have adopted African American Inclusion Plans (AAIPs) designed to increase tech diversity.
Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein represented ASTRA as Advisor and Futurist, and Career Communications Group as their Alum and 2015 Women of Color in STEM Lifetime Achievement Awardee at the TECH 2020 press event, “African American Tech Talent: Ready, Willing and Able,” held on December 3rd. at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein was honored with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Women of Color Science, Technology Engineering and Math Gala as a pioneer whose career spanning research, policy and practice has promoted Equity-Focused STEM Innovation, nationally and internationally.
Vivek Wadhwa points out the lack of women in the technology sector and discusses the negative public backlash to his coverage of the issue.
The conventional wisdom is that women haven’t progressed in careers in STEM due to the pull of children and early choices not to pursue math and science careers (Moss-Racusin, Dovidio, Brescoll, Graham, & Handelsman, 2012). Some studies conclude that the relatively low percentage of women stems from these factors and “is not caused by discrimination” in STEM (Ceci, Williams, & Banett, 2009; Ceci & Williams, 2011; Ceci et al., 2011). Yet three recent studies found that gender bias also plays a role.
Underrepresented minorities' share of Science and Engineering (S&E) bachelor's and master's degrees has been rising since 1993, but their share of doctorates in these fields has flattened at about 7 percent from 2002 to 2012, according to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2015 report.
When Brown v. Board of Education was decided more than 60 years ago, there were good paying, family supporting jobs for workers without formal educational credentials. But the era of pick and shovel jobs is long gone. Those who would support themselves and their families in the 21st century need a high school diploma and more: career training, an associate degree or, ideally, a four-year college degree.