- Guardian, Humana and Union Pacific Railroad will soon have access to a training initiative that aims to improve diversity in tech by upskilling women and underrepresented groups for hard-to-fill roles, General Assembly (GA) announced March 4. The program, CODE for Good, will accept an average of five student employees per company.
- Students will participate in a live online, full-time software engineering immersive program that’s designed to transform non-tech workers into job-ready, full-stack engineers. After three months of training, students will graduate the program with hands-on experience and technical and programming problem-solving, according to GA.
- The company will work with this first cohort of enterprise partners to drive employee interest and vet applicants through pre-work and web-readiness assessments. "By 2026, there will be roughly 3.5 million computing-related jobs in the U.S. and only 19% of computer science graduates to fill them," Ali Levitan, GA’s head of global strategic business development and innovation, said in a statement. Enterprise leaders are going to have to rethink how they approach finding and training 21st-century talent, Levitan said.
In today's burgeoning science, technology, engineer and mathematics (STEM) fields, women and groups remain chronically underrepresented, according to research.
Women comprise 52% of the country’s college-educated workforce. Yet, a National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics 2020 report found that in 2017, women accounted for only 29% of science and engineering workers, 27% of computer and mathematical scientists and 16% of engineers. The report also found that, in total, individuals from underrepresented groups in all science and engineering jobs is up from 9% in 2003 to 13% (Black individuals represent 5.6% and Hispanic individuals represent 7.5%) in 2017. However, that percentage remains below their share of the college-educated workforce (17%). Similarly, a report from the National Center for Women in Technology found that only 26% of computing occupations are held by women.
Female, Latino and Black populations historically have been underrepresented in senior leadership roles. The Women in the Workplace 2019 report by LeanIn.org and McKinsey found that only 72 women are promoted and hired to manager for every 100 men that are. Researchers said that action must be taken early on in the talent pipeline, which includes requiring diverse slates for openings and goals to get more women into first-level management.
Melinda Gates' company, Pivotal Ventures, and several social organizations are looking to engage women as college students in STEM to create a leadership pipeline. Pivot Ventures announced in January a $50 million investment in the initiate Gender Equality in Tech Cities, which will also engage employees, founders and investors in city-based tech hubs nationwide.
As with GA's first CODE for Good initiative, reskilling will become crucial in the workplace as automation and artificial intelligence replace and create jobs. According to estimates from the McKinsey Global Institute, the growing technologies may cause between 40 million and 160 million women to need to transition to positions requiring higher-level skills.