Assoc. for Women in Science

Winter 2015

AWIS Magazine covers topics important to women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine fields. Topics include career advancement, work-life balance, the state of science and technology, women’s wellness, and AWIS’ political and

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34 association for women in science | winter 2015 STEM talkers making technology equitable W hile Oakland lies a short 37 miles away from Silicon Valley, it has not experienced many of the same advantages of the tech boom. For example, a 2014 Oakland Unified School District study showed that around 40% of Oakland public school students were without working computers and high-speed Internet access at home. Without these tools, our students' ability to do daily homework assignments, complete college applications, apply for jobs and virtually explore the world beyond Oakland—have unfairly been cut short. And while California's unemployment rate has dropped to just 6.3%, Oakland's unemployment rate, while improved from 2010's 16%, is still too high at 9.4%. In Oakland, we are working to change this paradigm by making technology equity—or what I call techquity—a reality. As mayor of Oakland, I am striving to use technology to enhance the way government interfaces with the public and delivers services. This goal entails cultivating sustainable partnerships with the emerging innovation sector and our residents to expand access to employment opportunities, internships and training. I am committed to ensuring that the growth and prosperity we're experiencing in Oakland, and throughout much of the region, is reaching more of our residents – particularly our low-income communities and communities of color. Towards this goal, Oakland applied and was ultimately selected to become one of President Obama's 10 TechHire Communities – cities committed to expanding access to tech jobs and supporting local employer demand. The initiative aims to empower Americans with the skills they need through universities and community colleges, but also through non-traditional approaches like coding boot camps and high- quality online courses. Local organizations like The True Meaning of Techquity By Libby Schaaf Mayor of Oakland California This goal entails cultivating sustainable partnerships with the emerging innovation sector and our residents to expand access to employment opportunities, internships and training. I am committed to ensuring that the growth and prosperity we're experiencing in Oakland, and throughout much of the region, is reaching more of our residents – particularly our low-income communities and communities of color.

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