Intentional Recruiting for Diversity

In 2017 underrepresented groups make up approximately 30% of the tech workforce (with those identifying as Black and Latinix only making up about 5% of that number). We still have a long way to go before we see technical teams that are representative of the diversity and intersectionality we see overall in the United States. While “major tech companies pour millions of dollars into recruiting…there remain significant, quantifiable discrepancies—in workforce diversity, in gender equity among people of color, and in representation among top leadership.” There are so many resources and outlets for recruiting people from diverse backgrounds, but the conversation still centers around “lowering the bar”. Not to mention, teams are more likely to focus on the gender gap which often concentrates on White women rather than women of color.

There are better ways to build your pipeline and make a dent in the diversity gap — and they have nothing to do with lowering the bar. Below are some resources to get you started. We also share some creative searches you can use to enhance your recruiting strategy. We’re hopeful these will help you out, or at least get you started.

Take a look at these organizations we’ve listed below and the underrepresented communities they support. When considering how to incorporate the organizations in your recruiting strategy it’s important to dig into what your company can do to create a more substantial relationship or partnership. We always suggest the value in offering to sponsor an event hosted by one (or multiple) of the organizations, hosting one of their events in your space, discussing and demonstrating how you’re a safe and inclusive space for their population, and most importantly, asking how they’d like to partner with you.

Of course, keep in mind that in order to build and retain a diverse team, you must foster an inclusive environment. Building your team’s diversity doesn’t stop with diversifying your pipeline.

Okay here we go….


BeVisible – A career network for Latinxs. BeVisible allows Latinxs to connect to peers, mentors, and resources.

Black Data Processing Associates – International organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in the fields of information technology, computer science and related S.T.E.M fields.

Chinese Software Professionals Association – Their goal is to promote leadership, entrepreneurship and education among our professional members across all segments of the technology community. By organizing educational, venture and networking events with a focus in the Asian demographic, they hope to inspire collaboration opportunities between the East and the West. Their mission is to create a platform for which the technical, corporate, and investment communities can come together to help each other without regard to ethnic boundaries.

Code 2040 – Code 2040’s Bold Goal is: “that, by 2040, we [Black and Latinx people] are recognized and valued as [powerful innovators], we are leading benefactors to and beneficiaries of the innovation economy, and we have the economic and social capital we need to thrive and to build generational wealth.”

CodeNewbie – CodeNewbie started as a weekly TwitterChat to connect people learning to code by Saron. Since then it’s grown into a supportive, international community of people learning to code.

Hispanic IT Executive Council – premier global executive leadership organization of senior business and IT executives who have built outstanding careers in information technology. HITEC’s premiere network spans the Americas and is focused on building stronger technology and executive leaders, leadership teams, corporations, and role models in a rapidly changing, flatter, and information technology centric world. These global leaders include executives leading Global 1000 corporations while others lead some of the largest Hispanic-owned IT firms across the Americas.

iRelaunch – iRelaunch established the market connecting employers with returning professionals. iRelaunch works directly with over 30 Fortune 500 (or equivalent) companies in a range of roles, to develop, pilot, source for, present in and publicize their re-entry internship programs, or similarly support their efforts to hire relaunchers directly into open roles without internships.

Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association – Their organization’s mission is to empower Latino technological and scientific engagement, broaden awareness of the impact Latinos are currently having on these sectors, and concurrently representing their overall interest within the digital information age.

Lesbians Who Tech – Connecting lesbians and building a network of colleagues, associates and friends in the industry.

MAESMAES was founded in Los Angeles in 1974 to increase the number of Mexican Americans and other Hispanics in the technical and scientific fields.

Moms in Tech – The goal of the group is to support moms in tech. They provide a safe and judgement-free space for moms working in tech to connect and support each other. It is specifically for moms who already work in tech. It’s not meant for tech hobbyists, students or others trying to break into tech.

National Society of Black Engineers – With more than 500 chapters and nearly 16,000 active members in the U.S. and abroad, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. NSBE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1975, supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and precollegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology.  NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”

Out in Tech – Out in Tech unites the LGBTQ+ tech community. “We empower aspiring tech leaders to improve our world by showcasing accomplished speakers, producing timely and thought-provoking events, and connecting our members to new opportunities and each other. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we provide resources and mentorship to ensure career access for LGBTQ youth and provide web services for LGBTQ activists around the world.”

Power to Fly – Connects Fortune 500 companies and fast growing startups with women who are looking to work for companies that value gender diversity and inclusion.

Project Include – Project Include’s mission is to give everyone a fair chance to succeed in tech. They are a non-profit that uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry.

reacHire – Dedicated to moving business forward by bringing women back. Through comprehensive recruiting, training and placement programs that support diverse hiring, we give companies an alternative channel for tapping into a powerful, underutilized talent pool—returning women.

Tech Ladies – Tech Ladies is a robust and worldwide community with 20,000 members. Tech Ladies’ mission is to connect women (reminder: trans women are women) and nonbinary people with the best opportunities in tech, and to connect companies with the best techmakers.

TransTech Social Enterprises – TransTech is an incubator for LGBTQ Talent with a focus on economically empowering the T, transgender people, in our community.    At TransTech, we learn and work together to develop skills and value within marginalized LGBTQ communities.  TransTech members have access to online community and trainings as well as TransTech co-working and meet-up locations.


Black Girls CODE – Black Girls CODE is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and do so much more. By reaching out to the community through workshops and after school programs, Black Girls CODE introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails.

Code Platoon – Code Platoon helps veterans transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. For 14 weeks the students are immersed in learning the full Ruby on Rails stack. After completing the program veterans will be eligible for an internship.

MotherCoders – MotherCoders is expanding the tech talent pool by activating women with college degrees and work experience who are ready to contribute — mothers.

Vets who code – is a veteran-led non-profit that focuses on teaching veterans how to program free of charge so that they may find gainful employment after service.


There are so many more organizations, educational and training programs, as well as resources to add to this list. We didn’t even get into the local meetups or events. This list barely scrapes the surface. But, we wanted to give you a peek inside what types of outlets are great to start working with when developing strategies to build a more diverse team.

In addition to determining which organizations, programs, and resources to utilize in your hiring strategy, consider some of these searches as well. (hint: don’t just look at your local meetups, engage with national groups as well):

  • Search for groups centered around people who identify as women in tech by using:
    • Women + tech
    • Tech + ladies
  • Search for LGBTQ and allied groups by using:
    • LGBTQ
    • LGBTQ + tech
    • LGBTQ + code
  • Search for tech groups geared at supporting people of color in the industry:
    • POC tech
    • People of color in tech
    • POCIT
    • Black Engineers
    • Women of color tech
  • Search for people who care about diversity & inclusion and you often find diverse people:
    • Accessibility Tech
    • Diversity & inclusion

Twitter (hint: use the filters to narrow in on location, language, etc. if that is valuable to your strategy):


Again, this only scratches the surface. In 2017, there should be a lot fewer excuses for why tech companies lack diversity. There are a lot of resources out there, it’s a matter of how you’re using them. What are you doing to make a difference in your recruiting efforts?

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