Google partners with tech diversity group CODE2040

Tech diversity group CODE2040 announced Monday it is getting help from Google to support black and Latino students who want to land internships and full-time jobs at big Silicon Valley tech firms.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit organization announced during its third anniversary celebration Monday that it is launching two new Google-funded initiatives. One expands CODE2040’s offerings to high-performing students from underrepresented backgrounds who will get coaching and mentoring on how to land a top job in tech.

Another will be a pilot selecting black and Latino “entrepreneurs-in-residence” who will each get $40,000 in seed capital to develop businesses in one of three cities — Chicago, Austin or Durham, North Carolina.

CODE2040’s co-founder and executive director, Laura Weidman Powers, wrote an op-ed for the Mercury News last year after Google revealed its internal diversity statistics for the first time showing that its tech workforce was only 1 percent black and 2 percent Latino. The disclosure was a response to requests by the Mercury News and others.

“It is easy to point fingers at Google now that their data is public, but this isn’t Google’s issue alone. Diversity and inclusion is an industry-wide problem,” she wrote at the time.

She continued: “If the upshot of Google’s disclosure is that the company is derided as homogeneous and problem-ridden — or worse, biased and discriminatory — no other tech company will voluntarily come forward to share its data, and the industry could have a leg to stand on when claiming that disclosing the figures would cause ‘competitive harm.’ To combat this potential chilling effect, we need to react to Google with warmth.”

Profile: A class of computer scientists at the start of their summer internships at Silicon Valley tech companies organized by Code2040, which is dedicated to helping women and minorities break into the tech world. (Photo courtesy CODE2040)


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