Giving Compass’ Take:
• Melinda Gates is spearheading an initiative to close the gender gap in computer science by using a coalition of tech companies to boost diversity efforts.
• She is building a coalition of 12 tech companies that will provide funding aimed at doubling the number of women of color graduating with computer science degrees by 2025. How will this be different than other efforts to boost diversity in tech?
• Read more about the gender gap in STEM education.
Melinda Gates is convening leading tech companies in an effort to dramatically increase the number of computer science degrees awarded to women of color, part of a broader effort to improve diversity in an industry dominated by white men.
Gates’ independent executive office, Pivotal Ventures, and McKinsey & Company released a report Wednesday that shows more work is needed to bring underrepresented groups into technology. That’s the goal of the new Reboot Representation Tech Coalition, a coordinated effort by 12 technology companies to boost funding and align philanthropic efforts. The goal is to double the number of women of color graduating with computer science degrees by 2025.
“The gender gap in tech is bigger than any one company, so companies who want to be a part of the solution are going to have to work together,” Gates said in an email interview with GeekWire. “This coalition is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between tech companies and an innovative new approach to closing the gender gap in tech.”
The Reboot Representation Tech Coalition is a separate but related effort. Adobe, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Oath, Pivotal Ventures, BNY Mellon, Best Buy, Symantec, LinkedIn, Qualcomm, and Applied Materials comprise the coalition. Together they have committed more than $12 million toward the goal of doubling women of color earning computer science degrees.
For Gates, the issue is personal. Before eventually devoting her life to philanthropy, she spent several years at Microsoft where she worked on major projects, like Expedia. During her career in tech, she says she experienced “what it’s like to be the only woman in the room.” Being underrepresented “can make you really question yourself and your abilities,” she said.
Read the full article about closing the tech gap by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire
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