As part of our sponsorship from Indeed, PCs for People was able to partner with Launchcode, a nonprofit offering free tech education and job placement opportunities to bring new people from all backgrounds into the tech field and reshape the way employers think about hiring. Through this partnership, we provided several of Launchcode’s members with a computer, free internet, or both. One of these members was Tiara LaShawna Burtin, who generously shared her experience with us. Please read her statement below about how technology has impacted her ability to launch her career in tech and why this is so important.
Studies show, Black women are the most educated group in America. However, of the 25% of women working in the tech industry, Black women account for only 3%. These numbers suggest there is a stigma surrounding women in tech that creates the gap of this low representation. When there is an apparent lack of future success, it sends a message to young Black girls that careers in tech and STEM subjects are not for them.I’ve always been a person that loves to break societal norms and expectations for social justice! I am aware that access is dependent on dominant culture’s belief that only certain people are worthy of access to things that will help them thrive and live well. Women are needed in tech because high gender diversity companies deliver better returns and have outperformed less diverse companies with a 66% increase in ROI. When we celebrate more Black female tech leaders, we send a new message to young Black girls to pursue STEM and that leadership is possible for them.Many do not consider the initial hurdles women have to face to even explore an education in tech. The amount of self love, self awareness, and self worthiness a woman has to have to ask for support to fight through these hurdles can be a turning point. From personal experience, my first battle was not having a laptop and internet access.