There’s San Francisco, New York, Boulder, Boston—and now, Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital wants to become the country’s next tech hub, but the district, where black and latino residents make up 46% and 10% of the population, respectively, also wants to serve as a national model for those other cities when it comes to building an inclusive technology economy.
Led by D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser, the city’s Innovation & Technology Inclusion Council this week released its first “Pathways To Inclusion Report,” in which it highlights the strengths and weaknesses of its own tech industry with regard to diversity and equity. Among the council’s findings: The percentage of black households with both a computer and broadband access is significantly lower than that of white households (59% vs 96%), exposing one of the hurdles for getting young students involved and interested in STEM activities and careers. Other similar lacks in resources have led to disparities in the demographic make-up of D.C.’s 30,000 tech jobs:
As a way forward, the council calls for more exposure to tech-focused internships for high school and college students, better skills-training programs at community colleges, and more access to capital for minority-owned small businesses, among other recommendations. Read the rest of the report here.JJM