Apple and Thurgood Marshall College Fund partner on tech program
According to the PR News Wire, the Apple HBCU Scholars Program and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund have partnered “to create [a] diverse talent pipeline.”
Apple has committed $40 million to the project to attract more HBCU students to the tech field. Needless to say, this could be an incredible boost to diversity in tech fields which have been traditionally dominated by white males.
“The multi-year commitment includes funding to build a talent database, internships for high achieving students, exposure to Apple’s campus and work environment, and funding of faculty innovation grants focused on developing successful ways to accelerate HBCU students into the tech field.”
In order to participate, students have to be in the last year of study from an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) or Predominately Black Institution (PBI).
“Thirty successful undergraduate student recipients will be awarded sizable scholarships and receive year-long mentorships by Apple employees to include a paid internship at Apple headquarters next summer.”
Apple’s partnership cuts to the heart of a well-documented issue: the tech sector and silicon valley are lacking melanin.
According to a report by The Washington Post, companies like Facebook and Yahoo are two of the valley’s worst offenders.
“Yahoo disclosed last week that African Americans made up just 2 percent of its workers, while Hispanics stood at 4 percent. Those revelations came days after Facebook reported that in 2014 it had employed just 81 blacks among its 5,500 U.S. workers.”
By cultivating such a large effort, Apple is at least attempting to curb the seemingly lack of enthusiasm that some minorities hold towards the tech field.