You don’t have to be a statistician to recognize that the statistics for diversity in tech are dismal. In fact, less than 5% of the tech workforce is Hispanic. There’s no question that anemic number is unacceptable, but at 7 Generation Games, we often discuss the efforts that go into attempting to shift those numbers upward.
There seems to be a lot of talk about solving this problem by teaching kids to code – and then apparently waiting like 20 years until baby coders grow up to be big coders – and voila, tech diversity solved! As the mother of a 7-year-old girl who is in love with math and technology, I’m all in favor of teaching kids to code. But I see that approach as simply a way to pass the buck for another two decades when it comes to tech diversity without addressing the problem today.
We decided that we wanted to do something to work toward alleviating the problem right now. We organized a Latinos in Tech meetup – with four companies that have Hispanic founders and/or co-founders – bringing together us, Evrybit, Sabio and Crowdschool – with the idea being to raise awareness of the fact that Latinos in tech actually exist. In fact, no only to do we exist, but we’re doing some really innovative things – launching all kinds of companies and working in all areas of the industry. We had more than 30 Latinos working in the tech sector come out for the event.
We organized the evening not just because we wanted to get together with some cool people, but because we get so tired of hearing about how “there aren’t any Latinos in tech.” And we figured if we can pull together a large enough group to reply “Hey, what about us!?” every time we hear how we’re non-existent, then eventually people will have to stop hiding behind that claim and start looking at practical and more aggressive ways to address this problem.
In fact, we have decided to make our meetup a quarterly (or so) event. Meaning if you missed out on our event last week, you’ll have a chance to come hang out with us again in a few months.