Since 2012, Oakland-based The Hidden Genius Project has been working to provide black male high school students with mentoring and training for careers in science and technology. This year, Uber partnered with The Hidden Genius Project to design a curriculum for black male college computer science students in preparation for technical careers.
For Zach Singleton, the product manager for Uber’s Privacy Engineering team, the mission of The Hidden Genius Project hit close to home. Not only had one of his friends from high school co-founded the program, but as someone who studied computer science (CS) and navigated into a challenging technical role himself, he believes underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers is often about access; underrepresented groups have access to education, but they don’t have access to friends, family, or anyone who looks like them who can share how engineering in practice is different. Zach cites a study by sociologist Maya Beasley, showing that six percent of computer science degrees went to black college students, yet black engineers only represent one percent of the workforce at top technology companies. Finding that missing five percent looked like a problem worth solving.
Visit www.eng.uber.com/uncovering-genius to continue reading.
By Wayne Cunningham // Uber Engineering