Creating Diversity in Tech: Elevating People of Color

The field of technology is constantly changing and growing. But historically this industry has had a lack of diversity in the people who make it up. But there's one person specifically who wants to help create more diversity in tech. And, he wants to make it more possible for lack, Latinx, and Native American professionals to break into the industry. 

About the Creator 

Geno Miller is the Founder and CEO of Shtudy screens and trains qualified Black, Latinx, and Native American software engineering job seekers and then matches them with tech recruiters at Fortune 500 companies and high-growth startups who support diverse and inclusive work cultures. Job seekers can work with Shtudy to help secure their future and lock in a dream career opportunity.

Geno grew up around Washington DC, not too far from an area where guns, drugs, and violence can mold and shape your life. Geno was lucky enough to have people in his corner who helped him stay on track and get into sports.

He eventually got a scholarship to play football in college but he had a lot of childhood and neighborhood friends who didn't make it out of that area and succumbed to certain pressures of that lifestyle. 

diversity in tech Geno Miller

Why Shtudy Started

Geno started this company to help other kids have opportunities the way he did. He knows many aren’t as lucky, and being just one person would make it impossible to help many kids at once. Starting this company meant being able to partner with other people and create a larger network of support. He started his first business when he was just 14 years old — selling t-shirts out of a trunk — he made pretty good money this way but also learned that he can put solutions out in the world, so that’s what he continued to do. 

How Shtudy Helps Create Diversity in Tech

Many times a company will feel like there's an all-in-one solution to appeal to people who come into their organization. So they may have unions or have programs in place that are specific to people who are non-white. That can include Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian, Middle Eastern, and on and on.

But the reality is, Black people are not Latinx and Latinx people are not Native American. From the candidate's side, they want to work at this company but they don’t know how to find them. So Shtudy is essentially that bridge between the two. And Shtudy will screen, train, and connect top tech talent of color with companies and employers who are looking to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce

"...creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is central to attracting talented employees, and to setting your company up for success."

And this is done completely for free for candidates. Employers just pay Shtudy for the talent on their platform. Then the Shtudy team will invite all candidates to sign up because the goal is to put wealth back into underrepresented communities. Creating diversity in tech is possible, one applicant at a time. 

The Business Details

Shtudy needs as many candidates as possible to sign up because they want them to have the opportunities that are available in the world. And the companies they’re partnering with have really committed to this mission as well. And now with the current climate of everything going on with COVID and the many social injustice issues, Geno and his team are more particular about who they partner with. The goal is to place candidates in a healthy workplace that they could actually grow within. 

78% of employees who responded to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) study said they work at organizations that lack diversity in leadership positions. - Harvard Business Review

When it came to growing the business, Geno said it took a lot of resiliency. “We just had to follow up and follow up and follow up. Probably even more times than most people would even think to.” He also said it was important to make sure they were providing value and to do that in the right way.

Company Goals

Geno said that their goal as a company — especially within the next five years — is to double the current amount of people of color in the tech space from the current 9% to 18%.  And, what a lot of people don't know is that 25% of all computer science and engineering degrees that are earned each year are earned by Black, Latinx and Native American people. But they only represent 9% of the entire tech workforce. And at the same time they’re helping companies thrive by moving forward with the right people.

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