colorcoded's mission is to fill the IT career pipeline with more women and people of color. Our primary goal is to increase the number of girls and minority and low-income youth participating in computing through a combination of activities, group work, interaction with mentors and (age-appropriate) advanced technical skill development through paid internships.
Traditionally, women have composed 12 to 15% of undergraduate students enrolled in computer degree programs in North America. As of 2014, women represented only 26% of the computing workforce. Minority women represent less than 4%. The numbers are comparable for minority men. This disparity is especially important for us locally in Wisconsin, where the average income of minority households is $26,000 and the jobless rate among African-Americans (for example) is the highest in the country at 19.9%.
At colorcoded, we are using a multi-tiered approach: we offer one-day workshops designed to encourage youth to dream about the potential opportunities available to them in the computing industry. Through our afterschool programs and summer camps, youth can play with specific technologies to build technical skills and experience the beauty and joy of computing. We then provide paid internships with our program and corporate partners to enable our youth to grow as future computing and technology professionals.