Entering The Tech/Creative Field As A Person Of Color
Diversity has been an ongoing issue for many black, brown, and other groups of people that don't always fit the bill of the "ideal" candidate for the tech industry. Because Tech as a culture exists in a bubble, it is inherently biased. Knowing who to connect with and where to look for help is vital to your success in navigating the industry.
By no means take this as a "this is your only option, you won't get hired otherwise" kind of post. But if you didn't know, we'd like to show you some alternatives if getting your foot in the front door isn't working.
Networking is a vital and crucial skill, and you've got to hone it well so you can make the moves you want. So...where to look? Here's a few places you might want to check out when searching for your next event, job, or program you'd like to get into.
1) Afro Tech
Afro Tech is the creation of Blavity.com, an online publication for black millennials. It's an annual tech conference designed to put us in the Silicon Valley conversation. Last year featured notable speakers like Uber's Chief Brand Officer, Bozoma Saint John (she's a black woman), and Rodney Williams, founder of Lisnr. It's a great place to network and meet likeminded individuals. It's a lil' pricey though, so start stacking your chips.
People Of Color In Tech serves as an online platform designed to create a community in which people of color in the tech field are recognized in the form of interviews. It has some pretty good content if you ask me.
While this doesn't allow you to directly speak to someone, it does at least help you to understand who some key players and peers are that are working at some of your favorite startups. But yeah...might be a good idea to find their contact info and drop them a line... are you following me?
3) CODE 2040
Code 2040 defines itself as a community of Black and Latinx technologists and their allies who are diversifying tech to create a more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous economy.
Their goal is to have Black and Latinx people prepared technologically by the time 2040 hits- it's when the U.S. will become majority people of color. Check out their site and see if it interests you.
This one isn't technically about tech, but it's still an opportunity. The Marcus Graham Project essentially selects a handful of students to band together and do an internship as a collective advertising agency while working on real projects for major corporations. On average, over 90% of MGP graduates find full-time employment within 6 months.
Don't say we never gave you nothin.