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Trying To Hire A Diverse Team Of Engineers? It’s Not Just A Pipeline Issue

May 10, 2015

My best friend is a brilliant programmer/tester with many years at Microsoft and other high tech companies. He’s one of the only black programmers I’ve ever met.

We need to make sure opportunities exist.


Editor’s note: Omotayo Olukoya is an electrical engineering and computer science student at UC Berkeley.

Recently, there have been a flurry of articles discussing the lack of diversity in tech. Many reference “pipeline” issues as justification for the low numbers. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, blacks and Hispanics collectively make up approximately 18 percent of U.S. computer science graduates, yet Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn are between 8 to 11 percent non-white, non-Asian, and Google’s American workforce is only 2 percent black. Clearly, there’s more than just a pipeline issue at play.

Here’s what I see from my perspective as a black computer science student, and here’s what I think companies wanting to hire more people like me can be doing differently.

First some background on me: I grew up in Nigeria, moved to the U.S. after high school, and attended community college. I…

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