Co-founder of Code2040, Laura Weidman Power is about to embark on a pretty exciting mission. She will be spending the next six months at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Weidman Power will assist with policy related to diversity and inclusion in tech hiring and entrepreneurship. The Code2040 team considers her time there to be “an amazing opportunity to directly impact how we as a nation are hiring and retaining diverse teams, building systems to support minority entrepreneurs, and creating a more inclusive tech industry.”
CODE2040 is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways to educational, professional, and entrepreneurial success in technology for underrepresented minorities with a specific focus on blacks and Hispanics. CODE2040’s mission is to close the achievement, skills, and wealth gaps that are pervasive in the United States.
The White House, and specifically the Obama administration, has been particularly keen on advancing technology education and opportunity and in working with Silicon Valley tech titans such as Apple to grassroots, nonprofits such as Code2040 to help bridge the digital divide.
The Obama administration launched several technology-related programs and efforts in the President’s first term, including Digital Promise; the National Robotics Initiative; expanded broadband access through the Recovery Act; and placed the power of online petitioning the White House into the hands of the people with We the People.
Obama’s second term saw efforts such as TechHire, a federal program to prepare more Americans for high-tech jobs in the 21st century. President Obama also urged the FCC to take a tough stance for net neutrality, that is, keeping the Internet open and not subject to the greed of data carriers and telcos.
And the president’s ConnectED program brings on powerful partners such as Apple to deliver technology to schools in underserved communities.