Sat May 08, 2021 | In News
Reflecting On Black History Month
After an unprecedented year and a global movement to end systemic racism, Black History Month offers an opportunity to recognize the many accomplishments of Black leaders, both past and present. It’s also a reminder that we must continue drive change to end anti-Black racism and create social change and more opportunities.
As someone who has worked in Canada’s tech industry for over twenty years, I have witnessed the lack of diversity in this sector. It’s one of the reasons why I started Black Boys Code. Representation matters and young Black boys need to see that careers in STEM are a real option in this innovation economy. At Black Boys Code, we inspire them to take control of their future and become tomorrow’s digital creators and technological innovators creating the next generation of leaders. But removing barriers to entry starts in the education system.
For example, in 2014, some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies began reporting on their diversity metrics with commitments to hire more Black employees and other people of colour. Seven years later, little progress has been made with low single-digit increases in their percentage of Black employees, based on analysis by MSNBC. And I would argue the data is no different or worse in Canada. But Black talent exists in Canada, the U.S. and globally.
This Black History Month, I challenge companies in the tech sector and elsewhere to step outside of their networks, open their doors and partner with organizations like Black Boys Code and others to build a diverse pipeline of talent and create more equitable opportunities for Black employees.