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Serena Williams Invests In Karat To Increase The Number Of Black Software Engineers In The U.S.

Throughout her time as a business maven and investor, Serena Williams has always worked to find new ways to play a role in advancing the Black community. Her mission has yet to falter with the announcement of her latest tech investment. According to a press release, Williams has invested in Karat — a cloud platform for companies to conduct technical interviews. Specifically, her financial support is for the growth of the tech startup’s Brilliant Black Minds program. As previously reported by AfroTech, the program works to help more engineer positions be filled by Black talent. The mission is to take the current five percent of Black engineers in the tech industry to double digits, according to Karat’s website. “The technology industry is focused on solving some of the world’s biggest challenges that impact all of us. My focus is ensuring the solutions to those challenges are developed by all of us,” Williams said in the press release. “There has never been a shortage of brilliance...

Apr 19, 2022

To Diversify The Engineering Sector, $5M Has Been Pledged Toward HBCUs' Schools Of Engineering

On a mission to diversify the engineering sector, $5 million has been pledged towards 15 accredited Historically Black College and Universities’ (HBCUs’) Schools of Engineering. Los Angeles Sentinel reports LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners has signed a five-year agreement with Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering to house technical and scientific research at HBCUs. “As LADWP attracts top scientific talent for our next generation, we must also keep equity in mind to ensure we are reaching potential candidates who may not have been traditionally represented in our ranks and in the utility industry,” said Monique Earl, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, according to Los Angeles Sentinel. “Refocusing our recruitment programs to engage with HBCUs and other educational institutions championing diversity is key to creating robust pathways to employment for underrepresented groups and ultimately transforming our...

Mar 10, 2022

Report Finds Black Engineers Feel More Confident Entering Tech Industry With Technical Interview Practice

Black engineers made up for only six percent of computer programmers across the nation in 2020, compared to white engineers accounting for 68 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Karat, a technical interviewing company, released a new research report in partnership with Howard University (HU) that explores the job access barrier for Black software engineers. The pair teamed up to host focus groups earlier this year to survey 300 Black computer science students and alumni from Howard University, Morehouse College and University of North Carolina Charlotte. The Interview Access Gap for Black Engineers report is co-authored by Dr. Legand Burge, III, a computer science professor at HU; Dr. Katherine Picho-Kiroga, assistant professor of educational psychology at HU; and Portia Kibble Smith, head of diversity and inclusion at Karat. “There’s been a lot of research conducted on STEM education and the opportunity gaps that exist for Black students,” Kibble Smith told...

Sep 16, 2021

Meet Kelly Cross, One of 1,000 of the Most Inspiring Black Scientists in America

Conversations about the STEM field always seems to include rhetoric of how there is a lack of diversity. And while that has been true for many years, today there are thousands of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who work everyday to make valuable contributions to their industries. One such individual is Kelly Cross, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno. Cross is one of 1,000 Black men and women named as the most “Inspiring Black scientists in America.” The list was culminated by a Community of Scholars at Cell Mentor, an online resource for career advancement in STEM. According to Cell Mentor, the list was created to debunk the idea that there is only a small percentage of Black scientists in the scientific community and “remove the bleach” from our history books. “Growing up, I didn’t know any scientists or engineers, and during my entire engineering education, I never had a Black female professor. I want fewer students to make that...

Mar 8, 2021

These Three Black Engineers Created Lavii Lockers, a Contactless Tech Solution For Small Businesses

When you think of smart lockers, Amazon may come to mind. You order your Prime products, and once delivered, you can pick up your goods at a designated locker location. However, what if the same convenient service was applied to your to-go food orders? Rea Huntley, CEO and founder of Lavii Lockers, had the same idea. After a frustrating experience with a pick-up order she placed in 2019, Huntley discovered the lack of efficient processes and smart lockers in the food industry. “I started to do more research on how to implement it,” the Maryland-based entrepreneur said. “I learned a little bit of Python programming language, purchased the Raspberry Pi QR code reader, and went to Lowe’s for the supplies to build the first prototype.” Later, she brought in COO and software developer James Bagley, and CTO and computer scientist Marcus Gunn, who helped grow the initial innovative idea into the food dispensary smart locker system they operate today. Since its launch this past August,...

Dec 8, 2020