BIPOC workers, women and LGBTQ+ employees still face an uphill battle in the tech industry when it comes to representation, pay equity and workplace discrimination.
According to data from CompTIA, men hold 80% of executive roles in the tech sector compared to 20% for women, and the industry employs a higher share of white workers (69%) when compared with other industries (63%). African Americans account for only 7% of tech workers, while Hispanics represent 8%, and women represent 36%. And as tech jobs become some of the highest-paying and most reliable jobs in the economy, it’s increasingly important to push for diversity and inclusion to prevent people from being shut out from these lucrative, high-growth careers.
Several nonprofit organizations are dedicated exclusively to this cause. If you or your organization are looking to make an impact, consider donating to or supporting any of these 12 worthy nonprofit organizations focused on supporting the push for diversity, inclusion and equity in the tech industry for BIPOC, women and LGBTQ+ workers.
With a presence in more than 50 countries, AnitaB.org focuses on uplifting women and non-binary technologists across the globe. It’s also the organization behind the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, the largest gathering of women technologists. The goal of AnitaB.org is to create a future in which the people working on developing and creating new technology “mirror the people and societies for whom they were built.”
While members can join AnitaB.org, it’s also a charitable organization that works to empower women in tech around the globe. Donations go toward AnitaB Tech Journey Fund Scholarships, which go to female computing students who need the extra support to overcome “life challenges” to complete degrees in IT and STEM fields.
Donate to the Anita B Organization here.
Black Girls Code
Black Girls Code is a nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting young women of color at an early age to empower them with the confidence and skills to break into the tech industry. The organization emphasizes the importance of instilling a passion for tech and STEM in young women of color who grow up in overlooked and underserved communities. The program focuses on teaching young girls coding and programming skills that will help them succeed in STEM and computer science degree programs and careers. Black Girls Code offers coding challenges, informational sessions, events and trainings on the most in-demand technical skills in cities across the U.S.
Donate to Black Girls Code here.
Code 2040 is on a mission to “activate, connect and mobilize the largest racial equity community in tech to dismantle the structural barriers that prevent the full participation and leadership of Black and Latinx people in the innovation economy.” Black and Latinx workers earn nearly 20 percent of computer science Bachelor degrees, yet they represent only 5 percent of the technical workforce at top tech companies, according to Code2040.
Code2040 seeks to redefine the tech industry by breaking down the barriers that prevent Black and Latinx technologists from reaching their full potential in the industry. The organization offers events, training, and early-career programs to equip Black and Latinx technologists and their allies with the “tools, connections and care they need to advocate and achieve racial equity in the tech industry.”
Donate to Code2040 here.
Digital Undivided (DID)
Digital Undivided (DID) is a nonprofit social startup that “merges data and heart to develop innovative programs and initiatives that catalyzes economic growth in Black and Latinx communities.” The organization started in 2012 with FOCUS100, the first conference for Black women founders in tech. Since then, DID has continued to grow, releasing data and research about diversity through ProjectDiane, forming the BIG Incubator Program for Black and Latinx women founders, expanding its reach by opening a headquarters in Newark, NJ, and starting initiatives such as The Do You Fund, which has made more than 1,500 micro-investments in black women entrepreneurs.
In addition to helping Black and Latinx women connect and source funding for their entrepreneurial ideas, DID also offers programs to support women through their career. DID offers a virtual training program for those just starting out as an entrepreneur, a fast-paced incubator program for high-potential members and a leadership coaching program. Members will also get access to the Digital Undivided Genius Lab, which offers exclusive content, resources and a user-friendly space to help entrepreneurs turn their visions into reality.
Donate to Digital Undivided (DID) here.
Genesys Works provides “pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experience and impactful relationships.” According to Genesys Works, nearly all the students who participate in the program attend college and are more likely to complete their degree than peers who did not go through the program. A study published by Columbia University looked into the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of Genesys Works and found that for every $1 invested, there was an economic return of $13.45.
The program includes 8 weeks of training the summer before students start their senior year of high school, followed by a paid year-long internship at partner companies working 20 hours per week. Students also receive more than 60 hours of guidance and counseling on “appropriate college and career pathways” assisting students with college selection, applications, and financial aid assistance. Students are trained in IT and business operations skills as well as the professional and soft skills necessary to be successful in the corporate world. Genesys Works also offers a network of alumni enabling current and past students to connect with others who went through the same program.
Donate to Genesys Works here.
Hack the Hood
Hack the Hood is an organization that teaches “under-resourced youth of color” ages 16 to 25 the skills they need to build a website. The organization partners students with local small and midsize businesses to give them firsthand experience working with clients to help them build an online presence.
Hack the Hood offers intensive 6-week bootcamps and 10-week afternoon programs in the Bay Area and Northern California to help empower under-resourced young people of color who are interested in tech careers. Students learn how to build and design a website, how to write basic HTML and CSS, and how to promote small businesses on social media. Students are also taught leadership and soft skills such as business communication, entrepreneurship, professionalism, and problem solving. The course also focuses on professional skills such as customer service, project management, time management, job search, resume writing, and networking.
Donate to Hack the Hood here.
The Hidden Genius Project
The Hidden Genius Project is designed to help empower young Black males to “learn relevant technology skills, build an entrepreneurial foundation and establish a professional network that will empower them to be innovators and agents of change.” The Hidden Genius Project offers a 15-month long immersion program that provides Black male high school students with more than 800 hours of mentorship and training in computer science, software development, entrepreneurship and leadership. There’s also a less intensive program called Catalyst Programming that offers free introductory workshops and events for to help spark an interest in technology careers at a young age.
The Hidden Genius Project was founded in 2012 by five Black male entrepreneurs and technologists who wanted to close the staggering gap between high unemployment rates for Black male youth and the “plethora of career opportunities within the local technology sector.” Students are taught hard skills in computer science, but they’re also taught other valuable career-building skills such as problem-solving, leadership and entrepreneurship. Donations are directly funneled into meal gift cards, stipends, grocery gift cards, laptops, essentials and travel costs for students in the intensive immersion programs.
Donate to The Hidden Genius Project here.
InRoads was founded in 1970 to address the lack of diversity in corporate America and has since grown to become an international organization that works with more than 2,000 interns each year at more than 200 corporate sponsors. Eighty percent of InRoads students are the first in their family to attend college. In 2015, 100% of InRoads graduating high school seniors were accepted into college and 82% of graduating college seniors accepted offers from their sponsoring company.
InRoads positions corporate sponsorship as a way to embrace diversity and inclusion by “locating and developing young men and women who have the tools necessary to achieve success.” While InRoads offers support to students in computer information sciences and engineering, it also supports students in busines, accounting, actuarial science, sales, marketing, communications, supply chain management, and more.
Donate to InRoads here.
NPower is an organization that aims to address the skills gap by providing access to veterans and young adults from underserved communities to give them the opportunity to break into an IT career and to build a strong financial future through training and internships. According to NPower, 80% of students who enroll in the program graduate and 80% of those graduates land jobs or go on to continue their education. Graduates of the program also see an average salary increase of 194%.
NPower currently has programs in New York, Texas, California, Maryland, Toronto, New Jersey, Missouri, and Michigan. NPower works closely with local colleges, training programs, and businesses to help bring more diversity to the tech industry. It develops specific training programs for several IT jobs, and partners students with corporate sponsors for six-month long internship after they are trained on the necessary skills to succeed. There are many ways you can support NPower whether it’s as a corporate sponsor, through donations, as a monthly donor, or as a “pathway builder,” which includes several levels of support ranging from $50 per month up to $25,000 or more per year.
Donate to the organization or sponsor an NPower student here.
Per Scholas is dedicated to driving “real positive social change and economic sustainability for communities across the country.” The nonprofit organization is invested in redefining the future of work to support economic ability, advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion. It works with technologists at all stages of their careers, including working closely to prepare young people for future tech jobs by offering “equitable access to education.”
Per Scholas works closely with employers to create tuition-free bootcamp courses that combine professional development skills with hands-on technical instruction for in-demand tech skills. It currently offers training courses in AWS, cloud DevOps, cybersecurity, end user desktop support, full stack Java development, IT support, network infrastructure, and software engineering.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Per Scholas seeks to raise up to $1 million by the end of 2020 to “supply 1,000 technology toolkits to Per Scholas learners” to help bridge the digital divide that has only increased due to the pandemic. The organization notes that the unemployment spurred by the pandemic has disproportionately affected Black and Hispanic populations, only furthering the “digital divide.” Each toolkit includes a laptop with webcam, headphone, WiFi access, and a Raspberry Pi computer that learners will assemble themselves.
Donate to Per Scholas here.
Techstars Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps funds nonprofits that are dedicated to advancing equity and inclusion in entrepreneurship in the U.S. and internationally. Since 2015, the organization has “invested over $1 million and helped 30 nonprofits deliver scalable impact for entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities.” The organization offers grants between $10,000 and $50,000 to nonprofit organizations and connects entrepreneurs with mentors who can offer guidance while building your business.
Through the Accelerate Equity project, the Techstars Foundation picks out “early-stage nonprofits and ideas” that support or empower underrepresented entrepreneurs that need funding. You can also apply to the organization to become a mentor to support other entrepreneurs, if you want to do more than donate money to help support the funding of diversity-focused startups.
Donate to Techstars Foundation here.
Year Up is another nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting young adults who are typically underrepresented in the tech industry. Year Up students are typically young adults of color in underserved communities who don’t have the same access to career opportunities as some of their peers. The program supports these students as they navigate the program while balancing their personal and professional lives.
The year-long program trains young adults on the IT skills they need to be successful and then pairs them with corporate partners for a six-month internship. Students are taught the hard technical skills for the IT paths they are placed into as well as the soft and professional skills necessary for thriving in a corporate environment. The organization connects these students with corporate sponsors for a six-month internship with the ultimate goal of landing a job opportunity or continuing their education.
Donate to YearUp or become a corporate sponsor here.
This article was originally published on Nov. 27, 2020.