In 2014, Google published the first ever diversity report in the tech industry
. In the years following, there has been little to no improvement within the industry.
Here at Forge, in 2017 we created the Launch internship placement program. The first of its kind, the program provides extensive professional development and technical skills training, job placement, and hands-on experience at a tuition rate 74% lower than the typical bootcamp
. Students could apply with minimal experience, and once accepted they would go through extensive career and technical skill training.
After completing the program, students walk away with a new in-demand skill set, money in their bank account earned from working a summer internship, and real-word experience on their resume to help them launch into their career.
Since 2017, we have trained and placed 365 students in high-paying internships at 200+ companies.
Our organization has made it a priority to continue to make the program as accessible as possible to everyone, regardless of background. Since 2017, we've been able to increase the average student's take home pay by 400%
This past summer, the median gross income after paying tuition and taxes was $4,150.
As an organization, we're incredibly proud of this number. We dedicate considerable time and resources towards educating companies about livable wages for interns and are thoughtful in the companies that we choose to work with. It also means that we now have a program that enables students to invest in themselves. It has been our goal since the very beginning to build a program that was student-centric and made the experience of securing an internship more accessible for students of all backgrounds, not just those that have existing social capital
All this being said, regardless of how accessible our program currently is, we realize that there are still barriers (financial, structural, systemic) that contribute to underrepresentation in our industry.
Because of this, we are launching four scholarships focused on encouraging individuals from these underrepresented groups to apply to our program and participate. The goal is to increase opportunity for Black, Latinx, First-Gen, and Indigenous students in order to build a more diverse community of talent in today's tech workforce. As technology becomes increasingly prevalent, we have a responsibility to ensure that all groups are represented in the building and designing of the products that we use in our daily lives.