What's the real problem?

No matter the measure, whether it be race, class, or gender, the tech industry does not reflect the American work force. Most industry leaders, including Google and Facebook, see the lack of diversity as a problem, and one of the most common diagnoses is what is called “the pipeline.” The idea is that there aren’t enough qualified candidates from underrepresented groups to hire because they aren’t being prepared for careers in tech.

In this episode of Latino USA, we go through the pipeline —from programs aimed at middle schoolers to an algorithm that is supposed to eliminate bias from the hiring process— and we identify where the leaks are.

We first visit an after-school program called Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), where young kids can learn to make hovercrafts or even take coding classes from Google engineers. Then, we look at efforts to get young women into coding, from designing MySpace profiles to programming light shows at quinceañeras, as well as the debate over “pinkifying tech” to appeal to girls.

Finally, we take a look at the end of the pipeline—the hiring process, and examine two companies with different approaches to making tech companies more diverse. Plus, interviews with Google’s Daisy Auger-Dominguez and former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao.

Feature image created by Antonia Cereijido

Producers: Antonia Cereijido, Alina Selyukh, Jeanne Montalvo, Noam Hassenfeld, and Julia Shu

Latino USA’s coverage of diversity and tech inclusion is provided by the Kapor Center for Social Impact. The Kapor Center for Social Impact: relentlessly pursuing creative strategies to leverage tech for positive, progressive change.