Historically, tech fields struggle with diversity problems; mainly that women and minorities are underrepresented. To combat these issues, General Assembly, a private vocational school based in New York, is setting up what they are calling the “Opportunity Fund,” which will provide scholarships to women, veterans, African-Americans and Latinos.
They have enlisted tech giants such Google, Microsoft, and Hirepurpose, in addition to Queens’ own Nasir Jones. Through his QueensBridge Venture Partners organization, Nas will be targeting the Black and Latino demographic, while Google will target women, and Microsoft and Hirepurpose will tackle both women and veterans.
General Assembly CEO Jake Schwartz, explains:
“There’s sort of a like-attracts-like issue in engineering subcultures. It’s the ‘brogrammer’ syndrome… Most programmers, coders, developers, and engineers are white and Asian men, and census data shows that even where there are enormous minority populations, those ethnic groups can go almost entirely unrepresented in tech, California, for example, has a 38.1 percent Hispanic population — twice the national average — and Hispanics don’t even make up one percent of tech founders.” He continues “this is the start of what hopefully will be a contribution to what will be a more diverse and accessible community worldwide.”