How This Former White House Advisor Is Leading More Women And Minorities Into Tech

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Tired of barriers keeping promising young women, low-income students, and people of color away from computer science and engineering careers, Ruthe Farmer—the former Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion at the Obama White House—has committed her life to equal opportunity in tech. After getting her MBA at Oxford’s Said Business School, Ruthe began to fully explore why so few computer science graduates were women—especially because it wasn’t always that way. “It was really shocking,” Ruth says. “In 1984, 37% of graduates were women. It had declined by 2004–2005 to around 10%.”

Ruthe Farmer

She also realized that it wasn’t just a problem for women. Frustratingly few low-income students and people of color were achieving degrees focused on science, technology, engineering, and math—collectively known as STEM fields. “We had to fix computer science for everybody,” she says. “It wasn’t just that women’s participation had declined. Everybody’s participation had declined.”

Since then, Ruthe has been integral to the design, launch, and scale-up of multiple national initiatives and social enterprises promoting diversity and inclusion in tech. Currently, she’s the Chief Evangelist at Computer Science for All (CSforALL) and the founder of the Last Mile Education Fund. …

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