Mar 23, 2022, 09:00 ET
DATA REVEALS THAT 2.6 MILLION WOMEN OF COLOR ACROSS AMERICA ALREADY HAVE TECH-SIMILAR SKILLS TO FILL EXISTING TECH JOBS
NPower's Command Shift, a Coalition of Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and other leading organizations, commits to increasing the number of nontraditional tech talent - specifically, underserved women of color - in the tech industry from 5% to 10% over ten years
NEW YORK, March 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- What you need to know:
● New research from NPower and Emsi Burning Glass reveals that, based on an analysis of 10 U.S. markets, there are 250,000 qualified women of color currently missing from today's booming tech industry. Even further, there are about 2.6 million more women of color in the tech-eligible, skill-similar workforce around the country hiding in plain sight.
● In response, NPower Coalition Command Shift expands their founding mission of increasing representation of women of color in tech to include identifying, upskilling and transitioning this tech-eligible, skill-similar population into tomorrow's in-demand tech workers. The new commitment aims to double the number of women of color in tech jobs from 5% up to 10% over the next 10 years.
● Backed by founding partner Citi Foundation, and existing steering committee members Amazon Web Services, Comcast NBCUniversal, Guardian Life and World Wide Technology, Command Shift will pursue its goal bolstered by new partners who have joined the Coalition since its launch in May 2021, including Accenture, Girls Who Code, Girl Scouts of the USA, Broadridge and Workday.
Today, national tech training nonprofit NPower, which focuses on advancing race and gender equity and increasing economic prosperity for underrepresented populations through tech jobs, unveiled a new research report called 'The Equation for Equality,' in partnership with leading labor markets analytics firm Emsi Burning Glass. The purpose of the report is to unveil a new strategy -- recruiting from an already 'digital-skilled' workforce of women of color -- to train, upskill and prepare for careers in the tech-enabled sector. This diverse pipeline offers an otherwise overlooked and expanded talent pool that corporate leaders and HR managers can use to increase recruitment of women of color throughout the tech sector.
An analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that tech-related hiring contributed to the national growth of 467,000 jobs in Jan 2022 compared to Dec 2021. Despite these gains, NPower and Emsi Burning Glass' research uncovered that even though Black, Latinx and American Indian women make up 20% of the U.S. population, they only make up 5% of today's tech industry. However, if you consider tech-adjacent skills and related experiences, women of color throughout the U.S. represent 10% of the "tech-eligible" workforce—jobs that employ knowledge, skills, and abilities, that can seamlessly be built upon through training programs like NPower, to align with commonly sought after role in the tech sector.
Further, by comparing the representation of women of color in the tech-eligible workforce (to their representation in the tech sector, NPower and Emsi Burning Glass estimate that there are nearly 250,000 women of color missing from the tech sector across metropolitan areas in the United States. Further, if tech companies were to consider those in this skills-similar workforce -- jobs that employ knowledge, skills, commonly sought after for tech roles -- they'd open their candidate pool to include 2.6 million more women of color.
"Increasing women of color in tech jobs is critical not just as a pipeline strategy, but as an overall approach to helping underserved women of color who might not have college degrees, but have stackable tech skills that can be upskilled to increase their opportunities for economic advancement through a long-term, equally compensated, career in tech," said Candice Dixon, Director of Development, Command Shift.
Tech-Adjacent Skills: A Closer Look
Based on an analysis of knowledge, skills, and abilities between tech and non-tech jobs, NPower and Emsi Burning Glass identified close to 500 feasible transitions into the tech sector, where women of color comprise at least 10% of the workforce and tech jobs where they represent a smaller share, including a few examples below:
● Customer Service Representatives—which include more than 300,000 Black, Latinx, and American Indian women—already commonly use customer relationship management (CRM) software and digital productivity tools.
● Electronic Records Specialists in the healthcare field, where women of color are highly concentrated, frequently navigate electronic medical record (EMR) software to digitally trace records across a multitude of databases.
"In addition to all the benefits of a more diverse workforce, leveraging skill overlaps in the hiring process also comes with substantial operational benefits to the employer," says Joel Simon, Vice President of Workforce Strategies, from Burning Glass. "Beyond increasing the talent pool, which is substantial, this process would significantly reduce the cost and time spent onboarding for employers."
Command Shift Unveils New Goal
Based on these groundbreaking findings, NPower's coalition Command Shift, which launched in May 2021 along with founding partner Citi Foundation to accelerate more nontraditional women of color in tech, unveiled a new goal to double the number of women of color entering the tech industry. The coalition will focus on women of color who already have some baseline skills that can be trained in a matter of weeks to fill open positions in the tech sector, and double representation from 5% to 10% over the next 10 years.
"This game-changing research shows that women of color with the right foundational, transferable, technical skills for the tech sector have been hiding in plain sight for far too long," Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower, said. "What we do with this knowledge is critical. If we want to see real change in the tech industry, especially with an increased demand for positions, we need to motivate them, train them, hire them, and support them so they can achieve long-term career growth and the income, stability and security it brings."
The Equation for Equality
With more than 250,000 women of color missing from the tech industry and the wide pool of 2.6 million women of color available, who have the skill-similar skills and are currently working in tech-adjacent sectors, plus close to 500 feasible, tech-enabled transitions into the field, NPower and Emsi Burning Glass are also introducing the Equation for Equality in tech, a formula that employers, industry leaders, and policymakers can use to benchmark the representation of women of color in tech against what their representation should be. The proposed formula measures parity between the representation of women of color in tech and their representation in tech-eligible, skills-similar jobs. When the skill-similar equity index equals one, women of color are transitioning into and out of the tech sector on the basis of their fundamental capabilities and not because of exogenous barriers that restrict their movement through the labor market.
%Women of Color in Tech Sector and Skill-
% Women of Color in Tech Sector
"At Accenture, our purpose is to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity; we know that accelerating a culture of equality for all is a multiplier of innovation and growth," said Coriel Taylor, managing director and Detroit Digital Delivery Center lead at Accenture. "We have our own bold goals of achieving a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 and filling 20% of our entry-level roles from our apprenticeship program, and we fully support the Command Shift coalition's efforts to increase the number of women of color in technology careers."
You can download the report The Equation for Equality here, and learn more about Command Shift at commandshift.org.
About Command Shift
Command Shift, Accelerating More Women of Color in Tech, is a national consortium of women and allies that advocate for strategies that invest in and inspire the advancement of young women of color in tech careers—with particular focus on women from underrepresented communities and non-traditional pathways. The coalition is composed of business leaders, corporations, nonprofits, and community organizations, who will address the glaring inequalities of women of color in tech. To learn more and join Command Shift, visit https://www.npower.org/commandshift/
NPower is a national nonprofit, rooted in community, that is committed to advancing race and gender equity in the tech industry. Through skills training, real world experience, support and mentorship, NPower graduates launch burgeoning careers and a pathway to financial freedom for themselves and their families. Students who enter their free, six-month program, earn industry-recognized certifications and graduate with the competencies of an IT professional with one to two years of experience. Eighty-one percent of NPower graduates get a full-time job or continue their education. Not only is NPower changing life trajectories for individuals from vulnerable communities but they are also strengthening the overall competitiveness of U.S. businesses hamstrung by today's limited pool of IT talent. To learn more about NPower, visit http://www.npower.org.
About Emsi Burning Glass
Emsi Burning Glass is the world's leading authority on job skills, workforce talent, and labor market dynamics, providing expertise that empowers businesses, education providers, and governments to find the skills and talent they need and enables workers to unlock new career opportunities. With engineers and data specialists continually collecting and analyzing data from thousands of job boards, company websites, online resumes, employee profiles, and traditional government sources, the company produces the most comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the labor market available. With education and workforce development practitioners, the company ensures that these data drive sound decision making and investments in people,
community partnerships, credentialing and skills development efforts. Emsi Burning Glass is active in more than 30 countries and has offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, and India. The company is backed by global private equity leader KKR. Visit https://www.emsibg.com
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