button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Increasing access and equity in CTE and STEM
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 1:45 – 3:00 pm
Room: Monroe

ABSTRACT

The lack of diversity in the tech industry has generated significant attention in recent years. We’ll explore the underrepresentation of African Americans in high tech careers, along with “the pipeline problem,” a commonly cited reason for this occurrence. We’ll also discuss other explanations grounded in statistics, social science research, and anecdotal insight. Participants will brainstorm opportunities to create pathways to high tech to inform professional practices of industry leaders.

PRESENTER(s)

covertonPresenter 1

Cynthia Overton, Ph.D.
Principal Researcher
American Institutes for Research

Biography: Cynthia Overton, Ph.D., is a principal researcher with American Institutes for Research (AIR) where she leads projects and tasks designed to enhance opportunities and outcomes for underrepresented populations. She is also an expert in knowledge translation—an approach that engages consumers throughout the research process to make findings user-friendly. In addition, Dr. Overton has been engaged with diversity and inclusion initiatives at AIR for the past 10 years. She is also the founder of inclusionclearinghouse.org, an online repository of resources related to diversity inclusion in high tech. She’s conducted dozens of listening sessions with high tech professionals, non-profits leaders, and policymakers on diversity inclusion in tech. Dr. Overton holds masters and doctoral degrees in educational technology from the University of Michigan; a masters degree in PR/corporate communications from Georgetown University; and teaching credentials from Eastern Michigan University.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Facebook)

cmoorePresenter 2

Cherise Moore, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher
American Institutes for Research

Biography: Cherise G. Moore, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Dr. Moore leads national and state-level projects related to adult learning and career pathways. She provides leadership on career preparation and advancement, representing AIR in the field with CTE and career pathways educators and business and industry stakeholders. Dr. Moore is the deputy director for the Nevada Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) Leadership Professional Training Project and leads CALPRO project work related to administrative leadership training. Prior to AIR, Dr. Moore served as a practitioner in a southern California school district in adult and career and technical education. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and a M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership from Arizona State University. She also received a M.A. in Urban Planning and B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Social Media: (Facebook)

DESCRIPTION

The lack of diversity in high tech careers has generated significant attention in recent years. An analysis of EEO-1 data found that compared to private industry, the high tech sector employs a larger share of whites (63.5 percent to 68.5 percent) and Asian Americans (5.8 percent to 14 percent) and a lower share of African Americans (14.4 percent to 7.4 percent) (EEOC, 2016). The lack of diversity in Silicon Valley’s tech workforce is much more extreme, which consists of less than 5 percent African Americans. In response to this, the tech sector has initiated a host of strategies such as incentivizing recruiters to identify a more diverse talent pool of candidates, creating talent development and pipeline recruitment programs that engage underrepresented minorities, and hiring corporate diversity and inclusion leaders. However, significant opportunity exists for parents, teachers, counselors, professors and other stakeholders that serve a critical role in the upbringing, education, and character development of potential technology professionals to offer input to tech companies on creating a more diverse workforce. This session will offer such a platform to generate innovative ideas that serve to enhance diversity throughout high tech.

This presentation will involve an open discussion about the underrepresentation of African Americans in high tech careers. It will begin by exploring one of the most commonly cited reasons for the lack of diversity in high tech—a “pipeline problem.” The discussion will then address alternatives to the “pipeline problem” school of thought that are grounded in statistics, social science research, and anecdotal insight to help participants think deeper about the issue, including: graduation trends from computer science programs; student confidence; geographic location of underrepresented populations; limited social capital among underrepresented minorities; lack of exposure to pathways in technology or the “information gap; and unconscious bias.

The session will then discuss existing strategies that provide industry training and immersive experiences to underrepresented minorities such as talent development and pipeline recruitment programs offered through, schools, nonprofits, and the technology sector. Participants will be given a handout with a URL and QR code that will take them to https://inclusionclearinghouse.org a website that offers resources on opportunities for people from underrepresented populations to pursue careers in high tech.

Next, participants engage in a “Voices from the Village” activity, which will involve working in small groups to engage in a brainstorming activity to develop insights and actionable strategies that can help enhance diversity inclusion in high tech. One set of strategies will be designed for the high tech community, while the other set of strategies will be designed for the “village” or community of teachers, counselors, professors, and others that have a significant role in shaping the development of youth as they prepare for adulthood and the possibility of careers in high tech. Participants will be given a brainstorming and reporting template to support this process.

Following the brainstorming session, participants will reconvene with the larger group to report out highlights of their discussion. If time permits, others will be given the opportunity to give input on group suggestions to build on ideas. Participants will then be asked to submit their written synopsis to facilitators. After the conference, the facilitators will synthesize information and package it in a user-friendly document.

To promote the utilization of ideas generated through the session, presenters will disseminate the document to diversity inclusion leaders at various high tech companies to help inform their professional practices as they design and implement initiatives to increase the number of underrepresented minorities entering high tech. Facilitators will also post the information on www.inclusionclearinghouse.org so that it can be accessed and used by educators and other practitioners in the K-12 and post-secondary environments.

This session will be led by Cynthia Overton, Ph.D. and Cherise Moore, Ph.D. Dr. Overton has conducted more than two dozen listening sessions with high tech professionals, non-profits leaders, and policymakers on diversity inclusion in tech, has 12 years of AIR experience working on projects that improve outcomes for underrepresented populations; holds a doctorate in educational technology; is a former teacher in urban school system; serves as a board member for Quality Education for Minorities Network; and is the founder of inclusionclearinghouse.org. Dr. More has presented multiple sessions related to career pathways and CTE; is founder and coordinator for the African-American College Planning Conference; has six years of experience at AIR working on projects that improve outcomes for adult learners and underrepresented populations; is a former public school teacher and school administrator; and currently serves as a high school district school board member.

Event Timeslots (3)

Tuesday, April 17
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TUESDAY | MONROE
The lack of diversity in the tech industry has generated significant attention in recent years. We’ll explore the underrepresentation of African Americans in high tech careers, along with “the pipeline problem,” a commonly cited reason for this occurrence. We’ll also discuss other explanations grounded in statistics, social science research, and anecdotal insight. Participants will brainstorm opportunities to create pathways to high tech to inform professional practices of industry leaders.

Monroe
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TUESDAY | MONROE
The lack of diversity in the tech industry has generated significant attention in recent years. We’ll explore the underrepresentation of African Americans in high tech careers, along with “the pipeline problem,” a commonly cited reason for this occurrence. We’ll also discuss other explanations grounded in statistics, social science research, and anecdotal insight. Participants will brainstorm opportunities to create pathways to high tech to inform professional practices of industry leaders.

Session 3 (Tuesday 1:30-2:45)
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TUESDAY | MONROE
The lack of diversity in the tech industry has generated significant attention in recent years. We’ll explore the underrepresentation of African Americans in high tech careers, along with “the pipeline problem,” a commonly cited reason for this occurrence. We’ll also discuss other explanations grounded in statistics, social science research, and anecdotal insight. Participants will brainstorm opportunities to create pathways to high tech to inform professional practices of industry leaders.

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