In a recent announcement, Marissa Shorenstein, the leader of AT&T operations in the state of New York said that technology skills must be introduced to minorities and women even before they reach college. She believes that this will significantly reduce or even solve the gaping diversity issue within the technology industry.
Shorenstein weighed in on this issue while speaking to Business First, which was made famous by the dominance of white males from top to bottom of the organizations in the Silicon Valley. However, this can be easily recognized while taking a stroll through almost all technological companies in the world, which includes even Buffalo.
“It’s incredibly important for these skills to be introduced in school and after-school programs and for women and minorities to understand that software engineering and computer science is more than just sitting behind a computer writing code. These are skills that can change the world.” Shorenstein said.
An event is being organized at Buffalo, GDI Hacks, and is hosted by the Buffalo chapter of Girl Develop It. The main sponsor of this main event is the leading satellite, internet, and cable provider in the country, AT&T. This event is scheduled to take place between 08:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m. on November 12 and it will be held at the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center.
During the event, teams of technologists, designers, marketing experts, and web-developers will create new websites for local businesses, which are owned by minorities and women. This program is still looking more attendees, volunteers and even sponsors.
Authorities of the Girl Develop It hackathons programs firmly believe that this event will bring more women members in to the technological community of Buffalo and provide them more opportunities. Shorenstein added that this non-profit initiative would change the face of the male dominant technological industries and bring more women into these companies. She added that this is part of broader AT&T movement, which is determined to support programs, which promote diversity.
“One thing we’ve seen is that when we introduce girls to these skills, all of a sudden they see the sky’s the limit,” Shorenstein said. “It’s not just about gender. There’s a larger issue of diversity when it comes to ensuring there’s a pipeline of talent that reflects the diversity of our state and country.”