SEATTLE, July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), Washington state's unifying voice for the technology community, today released its Tech Diversity Champions infographic, which highlights the wide range of programs and resources in the state aimed at stimulating diversity in Washington's tech workforce. Noting that solutions start in early education and span through recruiting and employee retention, the WTIA is shedding light on organizations working to narrow the gap and local initiatives that increase diversity and opportunity.
Nurturing diversity in the technology industry is a key focus area for the WTIA, which has plans to launch programs to that end later this year. Aggregating data from a range of local and national organizations, the Tech Diversity Champions infographic is driving awareness for emerging efforts to help under-represented groups gain traction in some of the highest paying companies and jobs in the country. The infographic was developed in partnership with HERE Seattle, an organization committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture in technology, and includes the following data that show interest and enthusiasm in technology careers among a broad range of groups:
- A majority of black, Latina and white girls surveyed said it would be fun to design a phone app or computer/video game (Girl Scouts)
- In a survey of urban low-to-middle-income African American and Hispanic teens, three out of 10 top careers of interest included computer jobs, highlighting appeal among youth in pursuing a future in technology (Creating IT Futures Foundation)
- Black and Latino students earn 18 percent of computer science bachelor's degrees, and Washington State Opportunity Scholarships for students of color are on the rise (Code2040; Washington State Opportunity Scholarship)
- Minorities and women are increasingly enrolling in programming boot camps, and participants experience an average 44 percent increase in their salary for their first job after graduating from these programs (Course Report)
- There are a wide range of affinity and personal development groups for women and minorities to encourage tech career growth
"The diversity gap is real in our tech community. We have a significant opportunity to bring untapped talent into the fold by joining a collective movement toward improving workplace diversity," said Michael Schutzler, CEO at WTIA. "In order to secure the brightest minds from around the U.S. and the globe, tech companies must actively recruit and engage minorities, women and veterans. As part of our commitment, the WTIA is launching the industry's first registered apprentice program to provide a new path for under-represented candidates with technology training and job placement."
Many organizations are working toward solutions from early education through job re-training programs. A handful of these are featured in the Tech Diversity Champions infographic, which can be downloaded here. For more information about the WTIA's advocacy efforts, visit http://www.washingtontechnology.org/advocacy/.
About the Washington Technology Industry Association
Founded in 1984, the WTIA is the unifying voice for 8500 technology companies and 250,000 tech professionals in Washington. We inform and motivate industry, education and government leaders to help attract and develop the talent and capital required to make our region the leading technology community in the world. For more information visit http://www.washingtontechnology.org.
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SOURCE Washington Technology Industry Association