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Code2040 Helps Tech Plan For a Non-White-Majority ­sa

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CODE2040 co-founder and fellows

CODE2040 co-founder Laura Weidman Power (second from right) with CODE2040 fellows.

Credit: CODE2040

By the year 2040, the United States will have a non-white majority, a demographic trend that is spurring technology companies to increase the diversity of their workforces. "If you're a smart company, you'll want an ethnically diverse team empathetic about the needs of your diverse consumers," says CODE2040 co-founder Tristan Walker.

CODE2040 wants to help Silicon Valley companies make the tech industry as a whole more diverse. The nonprofit organization, founded in 2012, provides college-age African-American and Latino students who have shown an interest in computer science with both an encouraging network of peers and a summer internship program aimed at placing them at tech companies whose narrowly focused recruiting programs often overlook them. "If you can inspire the best consuming demographic in the world to be the best producing demographic in the world, imagine the amount of market change you can have in the world," Walker says.

About 90 percent of CODE2040 fellowships turn into full-time offers, a significant figure considering the organization focuses on reaching students from schools such as the University of California-Channel Islands and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. "The issue often isn't about not being smart enough, it's about feeling like there's no one you've seen from your community achieve success in tech, so why would you think you could," says CODE 2040 co-founder Laura Weidman Powers.

From USA Today
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