Researchers trying to figure out how to get more black and Latino students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics usually focus on those students’ college years. In a new study that capitalizes on data from the National Center for Educational Statistics and methods that address causality, Cornell sociologists looked at an earlier portion of the pipeline - in high school, when students’ commitment to STEM fields tends to solidify.
When it comes to diversity in tech, the question that has haunted the industry for the past several years is ‘are we doing enough?’ “I don't know if I'll ever be able to say we're doing enough because I don't think I'll be able to say that until we're at 50%,” confesses McAfee Chief HR Officer Chatelle Lynch, “but we're sure doing everything I know how right now.”
In analyzing data from the Texas Education Research Center, SWE researchers found that less than 4 percent of female students chose engineering or computer science (ECS) majors compared to nearly 20 percent of men across two- and four-year institutions in the state. Evidence of a slight decrease in ECS major declarations among women comes despite more women than men enrolling in college each year.
Given the lack of diversity and reports of hostility and discrimination, Congressperson Bobby Scott called on the Government Accountability Office to conduct a report that examines diversity, inclusion, hiring and discrimination in the tech industry. The GAO’s takeaway is that federal agencies need to improve their oversight of tech companies and diversity data collection methods.
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.