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Equity-focused nonprofit NPower and Emsi Burning Glass said their data reveals that 2.6 million women of color have tech-similar skills to fill vacant tech jobs.

NPower and Emsi Burning Glass said that an analysis of 10 U.S. markets revealed there are 250,000 qualified women of color currently missing from today’s booming tech industry. And the analysis found that 2.6 million more women of color in the tech-eligible, skill-similar workforce are available in the U.S.

NPower’s Command Shift — a coalition of Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and other leading organizations — said it is commited to increasing the number of nontraditional tech talent – specifically, underserved women of color – in the tech industry from 5% to 10% over ten years.

In response, NPower Coalition Command Shift is expanding its founding mission of increasing representation of women of color in tech to include identifying, upskilling and transitioning this tech-eligible, skill-similar population into tomorrow’s in-demand tech workers. The new commitment aims to double the number of women of color in tech
jobs from 5% up to 10% over the next 10 years.

Backed by founding partner Citi Foundation, and existing steering committee members Amazon Web Services, Comcast NBCUniversal, Guardian Life, and World Wide Technology, Command Shift will pursue its goal bolstered by new partners who have joined the Coalition since its launch in May 2021, including Accenture, Girls Who Code, Girl Scouts of the USA, Broadridge, and Workday.

Today, national tech training nonprofit NPower, which focuses on advancing race and gender equity and increasing economic prosperity for underrepresented populations through tech jobs, unveiled a new research report called ‘The Equation for Equality,’ in partnership with leading labor markets analytics firm Emsi Burning Glass.

The purpose of the report is to unveil a new strategy — recruiting from an already ‘digital-skilled’ workforce of women of color — to train, upskill and prepare for careers in the tech-enabled sector. This diverse pipeline offers an otherwise overlooked and expanded talent pool that corporate leaders and HR managers can use to increase recruitment of women of color throughout the tech sector.

An analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that tech-related hiring contributed to the national growth of 467,000 jobs in Jan 2022 compared to Dec 2021. Despite these gains, NPower and Emsi Burning Glass’ research uncovered that even though Black, Latinx and American Indian women make up 20% of the U.S. population, they only make up 5% of today’s tech industry.

However, if you consider tech-adjacent skills and related experiences, women of color throughout the U.S. represent 10% of the “tech-eligible” workforce—jobs that employ knowledge, skills, and abilities, that can seamlessly be built upon through training programs like NPower, to align with commonly sought after role in the tech sector.

Further, by comparing the representation of women of color in the tech-eligible workforce (to their representation in the tech sector, NPower and Emsi Burning Glass estimate that there are nearly 250,000 women of color missing from the tech sector across metropolitan areas in the United States. Further, if tech companies were to consider those in this skills-similar workforce — jobs that employ knowledge, skills, commonly sought after for tech roles — they would open their candidate pool to include 2.6 million more women of color.

“Increasing women of color in tech jobs is critical not just as a pipeline strategy, but as an overall approach to helping underserved women of color who might not have college degrees, but have stackable tech skills that can be upskilled to increase their opportunities for economic advancement through a long-term, equally compensated, career in tech,” said Candice Dixon, director of development at Command Shift, in a statement.