Solving the diversity problem in the tech world is a complicated problem. Many tech companies have committed to improving their hiring practices but there’s still much progress to be made. In fact, most companies have yet to move the needle by any meaningful degree.
Next month, more than 200 diverse and driven undergrads descend on downtown Los Angeles in a step towards becoming the diverse leaders of tomorrow’s tech and engineering workforce.
MESA’s Student Leadership Conference brings together hand-picked engineering and computer science students with industry professionals to develop the next generation of STEM leaders. Held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Oct. 27-28, this year’s conference theme is Illuminate. Motivate. Launch.
Both students and companies leave as winners: students network and gain the soft skills needed to be well-rounded employees; companies gain access to talented candidates for internships and employment.
Companies recognize the importance of engaging with and supporting our students — so much so they fully fund the conference with donations. These enlightened corporate partners understand these are not simply underserved and underrepresented students, they are an underutilized pool of talent that has been long overlooked. Companies simply cannot afford to ignore this talent pool.
This year’s partners and sponsors include: Applied Materials, Cisco, CHC Consulting, Disney, Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas and Electric, PG&E and Edison International. Also participating will be companies such as AT&T, Blast Motion, Northrup Grumman, Jet Propulsion Labs, Boeing, and Oracle.
Unlike job fairs or speaker-only conferences, our students get the unique opportunity to interact one-on-one and in small groups with company executives, engineers and recruiters. Many leave the conference with internship offers that lead to full time employment.
That’s a big step in the right direction to diversifying tech and strengthening the state’s economy. Here’s to the future of STEM success in California.