At a time when Silicon Valley is on the receiving end of criticism for lack of diversity in tech, one coalition of investors is putting its money where its mouth is. Learn Capital, Obvious Ventures, Acumen and Kapor Capital are investing $10 million in an engineer training program that aims to bring more diversity to the tech industry.
The $10 million investment comes amid a larger debate in the tech industry about some of the top tech companie.Learners Guild has removed many of the traditional barriers to acquiring the skills one needs to become a developer at a technology company And in so doing, creates opportunity for people of all backgrounds.
The tech industry is metrics-obsessed, always optimizing, and eager to find technical fixes for inefficiencies. But the conversation about diversity in tech is also a conversation about social change—about economic inequality, access to education, and the latent racism and sexism of an industry that prides itself on building the future.
One measure of success in diversification will be the number of people from underrepresented communities in top positions. Today, only about five per cent of employees in executive roles at tech companies are black and Latino. In addition, black and Latino tech workers are more likely than others to leave the industry within a decade; nearly half of women, of all races, also leave within ten years.