Here’s food for thought . . . Diversity is the strength of Silicon Valley. Yet we can and must be much stronger.
At the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the second highest priority in our 2016 work plan is to further diversify the STEM pipeline to meet the needs of our students, communities and companies.
This work is not for the faint of heart.
To diversify our high-tech workforce, our efforts must start at the cradle and extend through careers.
- It’s why the Leadership Group was a founding partner for Educare Silicon Valley, providing early childhood education in East San Jose’s Santee Neighborhood for kids zero through four.
- It’s why we helped champion the efforts of then state Senator Joe Simitian to offer all California school kids transitional kindergarten.
- It’s why we partner with Mayor Sam Liccardo through our “1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds” tutoring initiative to match caring adults with K-8 kids in reading, science and math.
- It’s why we have raised funds and placed 122 salad bars in 120 underserved schools, serving 98,000 Silicon Valley school children with more nutritious meal options.
- It’s why we have hosted 15 Young Men’s and Young Women’s Leadership Summits, so that middle school students are aware that there are role models and mentors to keep them in school and on track.
- It’s why we partner with Mayor Liccardo and Silicon Valley Education Foundation for “STEM with Mayor Sam” to motivate parents and students about careers in STEM.
- It’s why our companies champion paid summer fellowships for teachers throughout the region through our partnership with IISME.
- And it’s why we are now partnering with the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley to secure 500 scholarships for Latinos eager to major in STEM in colleges and universities.
Are these efforts worthwhile and important? Absolutely. Have we only scratched the surface? Absolutely. It’s also why we need you. If you are drawn to any of these initiatives, contact the Leadership Group today. Silicon Valley can further diversify our high-tech workforce. But it will happen sooner, and deeper, if we all work together.