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Women in Tech Coalition Gains New Strength

Black and Latinx women make up only 5% of tech workers and a coalition of nonprofits and for-profits is working to change that low number. Accenture, Broadridge, Girls Who Code, the Girl Scouts of America and Workday have been added to NPower’s Command Shift Coalition, a project of New York City-based NPower.

Command Shift Coalition is a consortium of business leaders, community organizations, corporations and nonprofits that promote young women of color for technology careers. Since May 2021, the Command Shift Coalition has sought to break down biases and institutional barriers that prevent women of color from engaging in tech careers, as well as provide original research that measures the success of its efforts along with those of other entities. 

The reason Command Shift Coalition was launched was to trigger a seismic shift — with founding partners such as Citi, AWS, Guardian Life Insurance, World Wide Technology and Comcast, among others — that increases representation of women of color in the tech sector and in tech-enabled industries. The plan includes: 

  • To harness the energy of today’s social and racial justice movements to focus on elevating low-income women of color in an industry that needs their talent;
  • To overhaul the tech industry’s traditional hiring approach that prioritizes young people of color with four- and two-year college degrees to a new mindset: prioritizing tech-skilled young women of color from underrepresented areas who have not (yet) attended college; 
  • To expand opportunities for women of color to upskill, access, and thrive in middle- and high-income tech positions — jobs that pay well above the minimum wage — giving them an opportunity to better their lives and the lives of their families; and,
  • By focusing on elevating women of color in tech, NPower is opening the doors for other underrepresented segments of society, including Native Americans, LGBTQ, immigrants, and others. 

“Joining Command Shift was a natural alignment with our mission at Girls Who Code; investing in the representation of Black and Brown students and making sure they have future-proof skills and a seat at the table,” said Tarika Barrett, chief executive officer at Girls Who Code in New York City via statement. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate as we continue the work to break down barriers and close the gender gap in tech for good,” she said.

“We are excited to partner with NPower to ensure that more girls of color see themselves as creators, innovators, and visionaries in the tech space,” Sofia Chang, CEO of New York City-based Girl Scouts of the USA in a statement. “Girl Scouts continues to expand our leadership in girls’ STEM education and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to excel in technology and beyond, and we are proud to join NPower to inspire today’s ambitious girls of color to be tomorrow’s tech leaders.”

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