Hispanics face underrepresentation in the tech industry, highlighting the importance of programs like the Latinx in Tech, a partnership between UnidosUS and Google.org, which offers trainings and certifications to help diversify the tech talent pool.
The current landscape of diversity in tech
According to our latest Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Toolkit, the labor force participation rate of Latinos stands at an impressive 65.6%, ranking among the highest of all races and ethnicities. By 2030, projections suggest that one in every five U.S. workers will be of Hispanic descent. Despite these significant contributions to the American workforce, Latinos continue to face challenges in accessing opportunities in the technology sector.
A 2021 Pew Research Center report emphasizes the persistent underrepresentation of Hispanic workers in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce:
- Hispanic adults are less likely to attain STEM degrees compared to other fields of study
- While Hispanics constitute 17% of the total employment in all occupations, they make up just 8% of the STEM workforce.
- Hispanic adults are notably underrepresented among those pursuing advanced degrees in STEM
- These disparities are more pronounced among Hispanic women.
Google’s 2021 Diversity Annual Report revealed that Latinx employees make up a mere 6.4% of its workforce. Additionally, only 1.5% of tech board directors have Latinx or Hispanic origins, as reported by Spence Stuart. Inclusion within the tech industry is critical for the Latino community as it prepares them to navigate forthcoming shifts in the workforce, such as the increasing prominence of artificial intelligence (AI). While AI presents transformative opportunities for Latinos and other communities, it also carries the risk of perpetuating existing disparities. A study conducted by UCLA highlights the stark reality that over 7.1 million Latinos in the six states with the largest Latino populations (California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida) are at risk of being displaced by automation, representing a staggering 40% of the Latino workforce in these states. In light of these statistics, it is imperative that the tech industry takes concerted efforts to foster greater Latinx representation and inclusion. Failure to do so not only hinders the industry’s diversity but also perpetuates the socio-economic disparities faced by the Latino community.
What we’re doing about it:
UnidosUS, in collaboration with Google.org, is actively working to address these disparities through the Latinx in Tech Program, offered at some of our Affiliates across the country. This initiative provides program participants with the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized Google Career Certificate while engaging in a 12-module professional skills curriculum tailored to the tech sector. The program’s primary objective is to create avenues for Latinx jobseekers to acquire new, high-demand skills and secure competitive wages within the technology field.
- Courses offered in UX Design, IT Support, Project Management, and Data Analytics
- Currently available at UnidosUS Affiliates in Chicago, Madison, WI, Atlanta, Brooklyn, NY, and Puerto Rico
- 85 recent graduates and 179 learners currently in progress
The program seeks to diversify the talent pipeline by preparing a candidate pool comprising highly qualified individuals from diverse backgrounds. On average, 70% to 80% of UnidosUS Workforce Development program participants identify as women and Latino/a/x. In a world increasingly shaped by technology, initiatives like this one are crucial in ensuring that no one is left behind. Together, UnidosUS and Google.org are making strides in helping to bridge the technology gap and promoting inclusivity in the tech industry.