2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Women of Color in Computing: A Researcher-practitioner Collaborative

Presented at Track: Special Topic - Computing & Technology Technical Session 5

Keywords: Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Undergraduate, Professional

Although women of color are a substantial and rapidly growing segment of the total U.S. population of women, they are sharply and alarmingly underrepresented across all areas of the tech ecosystem, from computing education to the tech workforce and entrepreneurship and Venture Capital. Furthermore, initiatives designed to increase the diversity of the tech talent pipeline often focus on addressing the challenges faced by those marginalized by their racial/ethnic or gender identities alone, ignoring the complex and interconnected barriers experienced by women of color (Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Native American/Alaskan/Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian). Aiming to address these stark disparities, the Women of Color in Computing Researcher Practitioner Collaborative, launched in August 2018, is working across a broad range of stakeholder groups to build a detailed and robust foundational body of research of the barriers, trends, and effective interventions specific to underrepresented women of color in tech to inform and scale new initiatives, policies, and funding priorities. This panel of principal investigators and practitioners will explore the data landscape and early findings of the Collaborative’s research portfolio across three stages of the computing ecosystem: Higher Education, the Tech Workforce, and Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital. Participants will be invited to discuss their reactions to the data presented, share personal reflections on the barriers they experienced to entry, persistence, and advancement in computing, and discuss promising practices being implemented at the university and industry level to explore promising practices for increasing the access, participation, and success of women of color at each of the three stages of the tech pipeline. Participants will also be provided with a data brief published by the Collaborative.

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