Racial Inequality in Computer Science : Tackling the Pipeline Problem and Actions toward Minority Retention
Smith, Octavia M.
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Computer Science and technology have ushered their ways into our everyday lives in the forms of televisions, social media, phones and cloud computing. Tech as an industry has since boomed along with these innovative gadgets. Epicenters where tech moguls such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google, along with many other big names and start-up companies in Silicon Valley, have created a culture where racial and gender diversity is scarce. These companies preach about meeting the racial gap, but not many changes to achieve their diversity goals have been implemented. Many solutions point to exposing racial minorities to computer science. Minority students, due to their socioeconomic statuses, have a harder time finding access and/or interests in computer science. Lacking readily available resources puts them at an opportunity gap amongst the already dominant white and male computer science culture. Although placing minorities in the computer science pipeline has them exposed, it is not the only solution in maintaining a diverse tech universe. Retention is an even bigger issue to address. The tech industry must not only acknowledge how their environment staggers minorities, but also needs to make efforts to support and empower minorities in the workforce. My study examines the complexities rooted in the injustices of computer science education amongst racial minorities. I also dive into the tech industry environment and analyze its biases and how it lacks minority retention. My study tackles the pipeline theory as I implement my own computer science workshops at Maple Street Magnet Middle School.