Take notes, job seekers! If you have been wondering why the job offers are not pouring in, @black_tech_jobs founder, Will McNeil says:
“…If you don’t have those connections, you’re not part of that network, it’s hard to find a gig, even if you have the best resume.”
Founded in 2018, Black Tech Jobs is bringing together mid-level and senior level Black tech talent with top tier tech employers. The team is planning to hit the road in an effort to connect even more Black professionals in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
On August 7, McNeil plans to host a Job Seeker Hackathon for Black Women in Tech. The networking event will take place at One North Dearborn from 5:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. and will include a panel discussion, fireside chat, and the opportunity to learn about available tech-centered jobs in Chicago.
“Our event isn’t just for active job seekers, said McNeil. “This is a great career development opportunity for folks that are happy with their current role too.”
Why Focus on Black Women in Tech?
“There are now fewer black women in tech than there was 10 years ago. We have done some research and the data has been a key part of us doubling down on our investment in black women.”– Will McNeil, Co-Found and CEO of Black Tech Jobs
“We have a diverse team and wanted to commit to supporting our sisters in tech, says McNeil. “Additionally, as a black male founder, I think it’s important that men move beyond observers of the women’s’ movement, to cheerleader, and on to become advocates for the advancement of women in technology.”
McNeil, also said that he is not convinced that gender segregation works well for the black tech community. “I think we are stronger together than we are separate.”
When it Comes to Black Women and the Chicago Job Market, What Do the Numbers Say?
“The percentage share of black female workers has declined despite diversity initiatives aimed at hiring more underrepresented minorities in tech. Between 2007 and 2015 there has been a 13% decrease in the number of black women professionals.” While this data point is a bit dated, the trend remains.– Will McNeil, Co-Founder and CEO of Black Tech Jobs
According to McNeil, only 3 percent of the computing workforce are black women who are 52 percent of the black population and over 8 percent of the American population. If you are still not convinced that there is a diversity problem in tech—especially for black women, here are a few more facts the CEO of Black Tech Jobs would like you to consider:
- For every 151 tech workers in Illinois, there is only one black woman in senior leadership. Among white women, it’s one for every 10 workers.
- There is one black manager for every 100 tech workers in Illinois, whereas the ratio is much smaller for white managers. On average, there is one white manager for every three tech workers.
- For every dollar, a white male makes a black woman makes 61 cents
- 57% of black women attend college, but only 22% earn a 4-year degree
- Black women have historically had high participation in the labor market, but they continue to find themselves in lower paying jobs with slow to no wage growth
“It just makes sense, said McNeil. “We think one of the greatest obstacles to true diversity is single-minded advocacy. We need to see more people advocating for the people outside of their own groups and sub-groups.”
Planning to Attend the August 7th Job Seeker Hackathon? Bring a Friend and Come Prepared to Learn.
“We are going to crack the code on what’s been slowing career progression, said McNeil. “The tech job market is hot, but it’s still a challenge for blacks in tech to find a job they love, doing rewarding and challenging work with people they admire and respect working for a manager and a company that allows them to come to work and be themselves.”
“You are responsible for building your career, not your manager,” said McNeil. “Your boss can support you, but you should be the person that leads the charge for learning and skill development opportunities. This event is one of those skill development opportunities.”
Are you looking for qualified black men and women in tech to take your company to the next level? Head over to the website to post your available positions.