Facebook’s latest diversity strategy? Talking to moms and dads
The world’s largest social network, Facebook, has a new plan to tackle the tech industry’s lack of diversity: go after parents.
Its latest initiative, TechPrep by Facebook, tries to get more students into the computer science and engineering pipeline by arming parents with basic resources to encourage their children in that direction.
The initiative, which launched Tuesday, takes the form of a bilingual website (available in English and Spanish) that explains to parents what computer programming is and the career opportunities available to those in the tech industry. It also provides information on the years of study required and starting salary comparisons.
According to Facebook’s global director of diversity, Maxine Williams, the company decided to pursue the project because data from advisory firm McKinsey & Co. showed that parents and guardians are top motivators in Latino and black communities, but lack of access and exposure to computer science know-how often served as a barrier to entry.
“We understood there was great underrepresentation for people like me who come from communities of color, where exposure to computer science was nonexistent and there was no way for me to even make that [career] choice,” Williams said.
Through TechPrep, Facebook is hoping to create a more inclusive pipeline that will, in time, enter the tech workforce.
The site’s visitors can click through an interactive module to arrive at resources most relevant to their needs, whether it be online coaching services and learning tools, links to toys, games and education kits, and offline resources such as community meetups, events, and national organizations.
The site also has a section for individuals who want to find resources for themselves.
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