Giving Compass' Take:

• Melinda Gates created a coalition of technology companies to help increase the number of women in tech. The group will develop new approaches to make computer science programs more appealing to women. 

• A McKinsey & Company report found the number of black, Latinx, and Native American women graduating with computing degrees decreased by one-third in the past decade. What are some potential reasons for this decline and how can the coalition address this?

• Read more about the tech companies that are responding to these alarming diversity numbers. 

Philanthropist Melinda Gates wants to change the shortage of women of color working in tech.

Gates will lead a group of a dozen tech companies to try doubling the amount of women of color who graduate with computer science degrees by 2025, Quartz reports.

The coalition is only one of Gates’ many efforts to end extreme poverty by closing the gender gap.

“They may or may not be thinking about careers in tech yet. But it matters that tech is thinking about them,” Gates wrote in a statement, referring to the women who serve to benefit most from the initiative.  Members of the coalition were inspired by a report called “Rebooting Representation,” released Wednesday by consulting firm McKinsey & Company, in collaboration with Gates’ investment and incubation company Pivotal Ventures. Researchers looked at how much some tech companies like Google and eBay invested in closing the gender and race gap over the span of 25 years.

The coalition decided to focus on making computer science more appealing to women of color, after the report found the number of black, Latinx, and Native American women graduating with computing degrees has dropped by a third in the past decade, from 6% to 4%. Researchers noticed companies usually didn’t invest money into college-aged women, but they should.

Collectively, the coalition has already agreed to donate $12 million to fund the project and will continue strategizing to make the tech industry look more diverse. They’ll also work to build supportive networks for women of color in tech that exist outside of school.

Read the full article about women of color in tech by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen