In an effort to provide more jobs for women and minorities, tech companies like Atlassian, Pinterest, and Google are turning to diversity recruitment efforts at the internship level. As a result, several companies have increased hiring of women in technology jobs by as much as 53%.
Lydia Dishman, who writes at Fast Company, shares that even small startup technology firms like Slack have the opportunity to increase diversity in hiring. Dishman adds that, “Slack is working with CODE2040 [a non-profit dedicated to diversity in technology] to connect with African-American and Hispanic STEM students.”
The technology industry has long been dominated by young white men. But in the last few years, companies have recognized the value of bringing more women and minorities to the talent pool. That’s why leading tech firms like Atlassian, Airbnb, Autodesk, Google, Pinterest, Slack, Twitter, and others have been focused on recruitment efforts that focus on attracting diverse talent starting with internship programs, where there can be a greater impact.
Fast Company contributor Lydia Dishman highlights how Google brings 1,000 interns in each year and a percentage are recruited for their 11-week BOLD program that combines learning and mentoring in a project management environment, including leadership development courses for underrepresented groups of students. Google’s corporate communication manager, Roya Soleimani, advises that, “The program is one of the longest standing diversity internship programs in the industry.”
Founder and CEO of Paradigm, a diversity consultancy firm, Joelle Emerson was quoted as saying, “We know that attrition out of the tech industry is a problematic pattern among people from underrepresented backgrounds." However, she added that it’s far easier to recruit from the larger student intern pool.
Pinterest reports that in the years 2015 and 2016, its diversity hiring focus helped the company to see, “a significant increase in the number of new grad hires and interns from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds – from 1.7% to 4.8%.” On top of that, Pinterest had more women in their new grad class, “53% in 2016 up from 32% in 2015.”