By Elizabeth ScutchfieldMarch 21, 2017

Diversity in Tech: How Diversity Partners are Making an Impact

For years, tech companies have been challenged to diversify their teams. We look to the data, using the demographics of tech giants like Google and Twitter to gauge how the entire industry is performing.

There’s been a lot of focus lately on how the tech industry as a whole hasn’t seen much of an improvement (despite over $1B invested towards diversity initiatives) and how far we still have to go for workplace equality.

In light of these reports, it’s easy to overlook the positive changes that are happening in our own city—efforts at both the grassroots and corporate level. In 2016, Code Fellows supported 130 individuals from under-represented backgrounds (women, minorities, and veterans) in their efforts to transition into the tech industry, giving away over $700,000 in scholarship dollars through our Diversity Scholarship Fund.

These students have now hit the market and are already making waves in the industry, but this is only the beginning of the impact we are seeking to make. As we kick off 2017, we are hitting the ground running in our 5-year pledge to give away $5M in diversity scholarships, so that we can integrate real change in the greater Seattle community.

But this is not something we can do alone. We are enlisting local companies of all sizes to join us in this effort through an updated employer sponsorship model, and proud to say that Expedia, Zillow and Substantial are leading the way.

To honor these organizations, we wanted to highlight the groundbreaking work each of these companies are doing within their own companies and within the broader industry to create more inclusive workplaces and to improve diversity in tech.

“We want our employees to feel valued, respected and safe to bring their whole selves to work every day. In order to achieve this, we are dedicated to fostering a culture where all employees are empowered to voice their ideas, innovate, and encourage new ways of thinking. One of our corporate cultural norms is the belief in being different. We seek new ideas, different ways of thinking, and diverse backgrounds and approaches.”

— Kristen Weber, Principal Program Developer for Strategic Programs & Inclusion, Expedia

“At Zillow, we use common language around our core values, a transparent culture, and accessible leaders to ensure that our employees are heard, included and feel comfortable in order to operate at their maximum potential. Investing in ways we can bring more diversity to our industry, is not only the right thing to do, but will make for richer discussions and better decisions.”

— The Team at Zillow

“Tech is a place for everyone. Diverse teams support a more holistic approach to problem solving, the ability to avoid group-think and echo chambers, and a better understanding of ever-evolving needs and cultures. We partner with organizations in our community that foster diversity such as GeekGirlCon, Seattle Pride, Unloop and others and actively seek to hire diverse candidates from all backgrounds and walks of life.”

— Adam Pearson, CTO, Substantial

How Your Company Can Get Involved

With your help, we can make change in the right direction, see the data improve, and hear more stories of lives changed through careers in tech.

If your company is interested in starting (or continuing!) to provide more avenues for diversity in tech, let’s talk! We would love to share more info about our updated employer sponsorship packages or review other ways that we can join forces to tackle these challenges together.

Learn More About Employer Partnerships »

Get in Touch »

Interested in previewing the talent coming out of our program to see if a sponsorship package is right for you? Join us for our spring Partner All Access Day on May 9.

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