Mobile Technology: A Vehicle for Economic and Social Empowerment, Part 2

Mobile Technology: A Vehicle for Economic and Social Empowerment, Part 2

Part 2 of a two-part series by Cornell Belcher and Terrence Woodbury of Brilliant Corners. Part 1 is available here. 

Seventy-two percent of millennial African American women say mobile technology has made promoting social justice easier. This group of young women is also more likely than other African Americans to organize a protest, learn about a candidate, share opinions about current events, and follow public policy using mobile technology.

True to the history and culture of the black community, women are once again leading the charge for civil rights and political advancement, selflessly employing mobile technology for the progress of their community instead of seizing the economic opportunities for themselves.

How then, do we involve more millennial African American women in an industry that pays 65% more than the national average and is expected to contribute 1.1 million computing-related jobs to the economy by 2024? Young women of color were more likely to express interest in mobile tech opportunities after being exposed to benefits such as work schedule flexibility, higher wages, and entrepreneurship. Those who know someone who works in the technology sector are 33% more likely to express interest in a mobile technology career and 56% more likely to be open to being a wireless entrepreneur.

Low-cost training offered in communities and schools would increase interest and bolster the skill sets needed to participate in mobile tech opportunities. Classes that develop budding entrepreneurs and coach them on how to access financial capital also help. And, exposure to career opportunities as well as mentoring, internships, and other ways of making the critical personal connection allows more people in the community to know someone in the technology space, see them achieve success, and have that light bulb go off that this might be an opportunity for them.

Organizations like Black Girls Code are leading the charge to expose young women of color to the opportunities provided by the mobile tech industry and are empowering them with the skills and training necessary to be successful. Other dynamic organizations like Digital Undivided are committed to increasing the number of minority women tech entrepreneurs by providing the network, coaching, and funding to build and scale their companies.

The mobile tech industry must also remain invested in bridging this economic divide by continuing to invest in career pipelines, training opportunities, and recruiting in minority communities. We all have a unique role to play in creating on-ramps for women of color to merge into this rapidly moving industry and in ensuring they have the skills to navigate the traffic once they break in.

Part 2 of a 2-part series by Cornell Belcher and Terrence Woodbury. Belcher, a frequent television pundit, is the former pollster for the DNC & Obama for America and President of Brilliant Corners. Woodbury is a senior analyst at Brilliant Corners.