Technology for the People, by the People

New America

Digital technologies are ubiquitous, but the people who build them are hardly representative. In fact, the programmers and designers creating the tools we use—tools that are increasingly being used to make policy decisions at the highest level of government—are rarely from the populations who need them most. Women and people of color represent fewer than 30 percent of STEM professionals—a number that has declined since 1990. There’s clearly a failure in the system.

Initiatives such as Etsy’s Hacker Grants and #YesWeCode are all working to bridge the gap by cultivating the coding and design interests of women and people of color, but where else do we need to build support structures? By the end of the decade, 77 percent of jobs will require technology skills—what can we do to ensure that underrepresented groups receive equal opportunity and access to the educational resources needed to launch or advance their careers? Join New America’s Open Technology Institute and Code for Progress to explore the strategies the technology sector should be using to educate, engage and retain diverse talent.

Follow the discussion online using #TechByThePeople and by following @OTI.

Lunch will be served.


12:15 PM: Introduction

Georgia Bullen
Senior Data Analyst, Open Technology Institute, New America

12:20 PM: Dissecting the Diversity Problem: How Can Leadership Make an Impact?


Megan Smith
U.S. Chief Technology Officer, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
Federal Communications Commission

Anne-Marie Slaughter
President and CEO, New America

Aliya Rahman
Program Director, Code for Progress


Alan Davidson
Director, Open Technology Institute
Vice President, New America

1:45 PM: The Pipeline: Cultivating Diverse Talent


Mariella Paulino
2014 Fellow, Code for Progress 

Tom Conner
Vice President of Software Development, The Motley Fool

Mona Abdel-Halim

Brooke Hunter
COO, Engine


Georgia Bullen
Senior Data Analyst, Open Technology Institute, New America