For a long time now, the fact that women and minorities have been underrepresented in the tech community has been much talked about. Many tech companies have acknowledged the challenge and sought ways to address it. Facebook recently made a move to tackle the issue and get to the bottom of it, by introducing a website.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Maxine Williams, the Global Director of Diversity at Facebook, announced the launch of a website called TechPrep. He described TechPrep as “a resource hub where underrepresented people and their parents and guardians can learn more about computer science and programming and find resources to get them started.”
TechPrep is a result of curated data that pointed to the challenge of “a lack of exposure to computer science and careers in technology, as well as a lack of resources for parents, guardians, and others who want to learn more.” TechPrep was created in response to research results that showed that a higher percentage of Black and Hispanic learners have more self-confidence about their own potential to work with computers than Whites and Asians. This research also showed that 77% of parents say they don’t know how to help their child pursue computer science. This number shoots up to about 83% for parents with lower incomes, or who didn’t graduate from college. So TechPrep was created to bridge this gap.
The website is designed to give users free access to resources that are curated based on who they are and what they need. It factors information based on age range, skill level and the kind of resources that they are looking for. The website is designed for bilingual use: English and Spanish.
Facebook will churn out ads about the site into News Feeds, targeting cities with high population of minorities or that have shown interest, in one way or another, in minority or gender-based groups.