Recently, there has been a large push for companies to hire more women into tech roles. While that is great, I think the root of the problem lies in the lack of exposure at an early age.
Seeing where the internet is today, it's hard to believe that it was born in my life time. While I had Myspace, Xanga (yes, that was a thing) and new AIM screen name weekly, I was never exposed to the idea that I could be the one to build those platforms and technologies. I was naive and simply took them for granted, never giving thought to the fact that humans were behind it.
I still firmly believe that the best people need to be hired for the job, but what if those people never even get the chance to try? There is a lot of unlocked potential and what we really need to do to fix the lack of diversity, meaning all underrepresented groups, is to bring awareness and exposure to them at an early age. Organizations and initiatives like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code are doing it right. They are showing young girls the possibilities of the STEM field and they build an environment that encourages and cultivates young girls' curiosity and skills. This is where the focus needs to be in order to turn around the lack of diversity in tech.
It took me a little longer than ideal, but it's better late than never. However, after building up my own skillset at Hack Reactor, I will give back by helping unlock the potential of the youth in my community, to let them know that they could be the ones building the next Playstation, the next Facebook, or whatever they dream up.
About our blog:
This blog (like Flock) was formed to amplify the voices of underrepresented technologists and help all of us fly higher together.