March 26, 2018

You Belong in Tech

Once a year, tech companies from all over come together to hire black engineers. This year the event took place last week in Pittsburgh, PA. Companies from different industries set up booths and the students come by the booths learning about what it is like to work in a tech company. College and Universities that offer graduate programs also set up booths to recruit these students to attend their schools and major in engineering, not limited to computer science.

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This event is called the National Society of Black Engineers Conference. I had the opportunity of helping recruit high potential candidates to Twitter and enjoyed every bit of it. If you’re not familiar with NSBE, here’s their mission:

NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

I spoke to about ~30 engineers during my time at the booth. There were 3,700 black engineers in attendance and about 12% were computer science/engineering majors. Having been a former NSBE member and CS student, there were far more companies represented at this conference than 10+ years ago. So, I was happy to see that companies are taking diversity serious.

Twitter’s message was short and simple: You Belong in Tech. It was short enough to put on a t-shirt and we wore them the first day of the conference. This message resonated with me because I remember being one of two African Americans in my schools Computer Science program. Everyone needs the opportunity to learn new ways of learning, creating, and earning a living in America. And that’s why it’s important for tech companies both small and large to show up and let black engineers know they belong.

So if your company is serious about building a diverse pipeline, you should attend NSBE conference next year and hire black engineers. Twitter will meet you there.