There’s a big push to get more African-Americans into the tech world and the culmination is happening this weekend.
The Black Data Processing Association will hold its annual Technology Conference and Job Fair August 10th through 13th in Atlanta, Georgia.
The BDPA provides training for professionals and scholarships for students in an attempt to increase the African-American presence in the field of technology.
According to The New York Times, African-Americans only represent 7 percent of the tech workforce.
The BDPA works with corporate sponsors to focus on recruitment, retention, community outreach, and supplier diversity.
During Monday’s edition of NewsOne Now, guest host Avis Jones-DeWeever spoke with Sharrarne Morton, Conference Media Relations Director for the National Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), and Ogochukwu Eburuoh, one of BDPA’s student scholarship recipients, about the upcoming conference.
Morton explained how vital it is for African-Americans to get into tech-related fields. She told Jones-DeWeever that Blacks make up less than one percent of IT professionals.
One of BDPA’s members, Stephanie Lampkin of Blendoor, is the only African-American CEO in the industry. Morton said, “We have to increase the numbers”.
However, there is good news. According to Morton, “There are more African-Americans who are majoring in STEM, cyber security, computer programming, web development”. She added, “BDPA is here to ensure that those numbers continue to increase”.
Eburuoh, who Morton affectionately calls Ogo, was a biology major before being introduced to technology and “fell in love” with tech after taking a computer programming course at Bowie State University.
Since then, Eburuoh has decided to alter her career path to become a senior executive in a health care organization and is aiming to become Chief Information Officer.
She told Jones-DeWeever, “Technology as far as health care – it’s the key”.
“Health care is moving as fast as lightning and technology is propelling it, and I know once I get into that seat – God willing – technology is going to be a focal point for me”.
Eburuoh is also working in Nigeria, attempting to bring tech and electronic medical records system into a clinic with Millennium Compassionate Care. She said, “Just to see something as simple as that that we take for granted because it’s everywhere here, really makes a difference as far as how effectively we cater to patients”.