Closing the Gap – These four organizations are trying to bring minorities into tech right now.
Code2040 - Jobs: Started by Tristan Walker and Stanford B-school classmate Laura Weidman Powers, this San Francisco–based not-for-profit helps black and Latino engineering students land internships—and in many cases, full-time gigs—at the likes of Jawbone, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Uber. Says Weidman Powers, "This is a way to access the best and brightest undergraduate talent in the country."
Digital Undivided - Funding and Visibility: An eight-week "Focus" program helps female entrepreneurs of color develop and fund startups. The annual Focus conference features prominent tech minorities as speakers and mentors, including Maxine Williams, head of diversity at Facebook, and William Crowder, partner at DreamIt Ventures. Kathryn Finney was inspired to found Digital Undivided by her father, Robert, who lost his job at a brewery—and then becamea successful Microsoft engineer.
Black Girls Code - Early STEM: Introducing African-American girls to computer programming became a passion for former Genentech engineer Kimberly Bryant when her teenage daughter decided she wanted to develop video games. Her organization has put 3,000 students in the U.S. and South Africa through after-school classes on web design, mobile app development, and robotics. "Only 3% of computer-science grads are women of color," Bryant says. "I want to see that triple."
All Star Code - Skills and Training: AOL, Dropbox, and Spotify sponsor All Star Code, which offers a six-week summer course of instruction in programming and app development to minority male high school students. Founder Christina Lewis Halpern was inspired, in part, by a Harvard Law School prep program attended by her late father, Reginald Lewis, a prominent businessman famous for owning Beatrice International in the 1990s.