National Hispanic Heritage Month: Attract STEM Talent from Hispanic Communities

Attract STEM Talent from Hispanic Communities

To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, SSi People is excited to learn more about their own team members of Hispanic heritage as well as individuals in the greater STEM industries. Not only does this action uplift our company culture and show gratitude to our team, but it’s also an important step to attracting STEM talent from Hispanic communities in order to build a stronger talent pipeline in the tech and engineering industry.

In our educational institutions nationwide, studies show positive outcomes for Hispanic students with access to teachers and educators representing their culture and community. There is a connection with someone who can relate to their background, experiences, and, in some instances, even language. As we switch gears to the work world, some of this same concept rings true: if individuals pursuing a career in a certain field find connections with others from the same background, their sense of community grows; the inclusive nature of an industry or even a company embraces them.

However, championing members of diverse groups isn’t always enough. As recently as 2021, it was reported that while representing 17% of the workforce population in the US, only 8% of the STEM industry is comprised of Hispanic individuals. Further, the representation of Latinas in STEM is one of the lowest demographical representations at just 2%. As tech and engineering leaders, there is a tremendous opportunity to advance the equity of these under-represented groups in our STEM workforces.

 

It Starts with Education

Embracing paths in education is our first step. By leveraging tech and engineering career resources and support systems in schools, especially middle- and high schools with large Hispanic populations, we are setting a foundation for building the next generation of talent in our industry.

Organizations seeking STEM innovation can partner with IT staffing firms to hold learning sessions, participate in sponsorships, help students with college readiness, and more in schools to energize students for a career in STEM.

These actions extend to higher educational institutions as well. With members of Hispanic communities graduating with STEM degrees at a lower rate than other groups, companies should focus their efforts in areas like:

  • Scholarship programs for diverse members
  • Supporting research and grant opportunities in STEM facilities that are part of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  • Offering internships and career-training workshops
  • Being part of workforce placement programs that many schools offer
  • Participating in mentorship programs designed for students pursuing a career in STEM

 

Support Community Programs and Services

Just like in schools, it is important for members of diverse communities to be aware that a STEM career, particularly in the tech cluster, is well within their reach. Working through local organizations like the YMCA, local training facilities, town councils, and Chambers of Commerce are good starting points for recruiting and staffing experts to host events that promote tech job opportunities, certification training programs, and continuing education in the tech field.

Hosting career training, resume and interview prep, seminars, and workshops at community events increases networking and connection within diverse areas.

Beyond localized areas, it’s important to seek out partnerships and affiliations with organizations that serve to uplift and advance targeted, under-represented groups in multi-locations as well. Recently, our SSi team spotlighted The Mom Project and, more specifically, the RISE Scholarship as important resources available to grow the skillsets of women, working moms, and particularly women of color and offer increased career opportunities in tech and beyond.

 

Sharing Stories to Attract STEM Talent From Hispanic Communities

Celebrate yesterday’s and today’s leaders who have contributed to the success of the Hispanic community. Invite speakers from diverse groups to meetings and events to share their journey and spark new ideas for innovation. It’s important for individuals of any background to understand that not all paths to a STEM career are traditional and to realize that there are more opportunities in STEM areas than we think.

For example, tech isn’t always just about knowing how to develop software, as science isn’t always about wearing a lab coat. Hundreds of job titles fall under a STEM category occupation. There are many opportunities for individuals to transfer existing skillsets into a STEM-related job, especially with additional training and support from an employer who wants to grow their team.

 

Build A Diverse STEM Talent Pipeline From Within Growing Hispanic Communities

It’s increasingly important to build workforces that represent the community around us, to narrow the talent gap, and to reverse long-standing inequities in career advancement. Reaching a goal to increase representation in STEM-related workforces from members of Hispanic communities takes proactive planning and often the help of an expert that prioritizes diversity in hiring. Contact us today for details on how a tech and engineering staffing partner like SSi People can help you devise a roadmap to accomplish these goals.

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