According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, black women earn about 87% of white women’s salary and about 62% of white men’s salary. Black families whose head of household earned a college degree have only 2/3 of the wealth of white families headed by a high school dropout.*
The gap widens. Inequity in access to education and wealth widens. In the tech industry, we continue to see inequities in the representation of people of color – the report card has not improved.
- A 2020 Report by Beam Jobs reports that 67% of tech companies are made up of less than 5% of Black employees.
- Recent reports from the EEOC indicates that 83% of tech executives are white
- Women are woefully underrepresented in tech, but the situation is worse for women of color. Black, Latina, and Native American women make up just 4% of the computing workforce. (Reboot Representation)
The boundaries seem formidable
In her first 90 days with Ivy Tech, Linda Calvin, Vice President of the School of IT, realized she wanted to set up a scholarship for diverse students in Indianapolis to pursue an education in tech. At first, it was just Linda and her husband invested in this effort, but soon learned others wanted to contribute. Totally geeked!
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin believe that tech is the answer to the poverty and underemployment endured by our most vulnerable populations. The name of the scholarship is Transcending Boundaries – enabling education to transcend the challenges of poverty, marginalization and the constructs of racism – the boundaries. The Scholarship enables the black, brown and latinx residents in Indianapolis to pursue a tech education in the school of IT at Ivy Tech Community College. Through the enablement of education, we intentionally create a diverse talent pipeline for the tech ecosystem. The Calvins are hopeful that this scholarship motivates the tech industry to take real measurable action to flip the script on racism and bias in tech – in hiring, in retention and with a ferocity!
The initial goal set for the fall semester is $10,000. However, the goal will not diminish but grow as we will continue this scholarship until such time that we can say with confidence that we've done the lift and now it will be carried forward by the next generation. That to say, you may continuously give.
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin dream that the scholarship becomes so large that it takes teams of people to manage it! That indeed is a great goal.
In celebration of the artist: Ms. Shaunt'e Lewis
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin commissioned the artwork, of the same name as the scholarship, from local Indianapolis artist Shaunt’e Lewis. The artwork is bold, reflective of tech and the colors in our community. When you see us, you can be us.
Shaunt’e Lewis is Visual Artist and Illustrator born and raised in Springfield Massachusetts. She currently resides in Fishers, IN where she also works from her home studio. She is a self-taught artist whose work centers around self-identity, black culture and femininity. She specializes in colorful, bold illustration as well as original paintings for private collectors and commercial clients.
To learn more about the Artist you can visit her website at www.shauntelewis.com