Brilliant Black Minds

Brilliant Black Minds

Building Inclusive Tech Interviews

Shamel Lakin's photo
Shamel Lakin
·Sep 23, 2021·

3 min read

Question - did you know that Black engineers only account for 6 percent of all computer programmers in the U.S. according to a recent study? Well, here's the good news, Brilliant Black Minds is out to change that number significantly.

With technology being a crucial part of our success in the future we need to figure out constructive ways to close the gap. Karat a global leader in technical interviews is on a mission to unlock opportunities for both hiring companies and candidates; has teamed up with Howard University recently to conducted a report to help tech organizations grasp a better understanding of the experiences of Black software engineers through its Brilliant Black Minds endeavor.

The Goal

The intended goal is to build a more inclusive technical interviewing process and create fair hiring programs throughout the tech space. Together Karat and Howard University conducted survey's and focus groups with over 300 Black computer science students and HBCU alumni from universities such as Morehouse College, University of North Carolina Charlotte and others to get to the root of disparities in the technical hiring process.

One of the disparities the research found was that Black high school students are less likely to have classes dedicated to computer science. This creates a disadvantage for many Black students as it relates to technological knowledge as they enter higher education such as college.

The Pipeline Problem

The lack of computer science knowledge equates to a lack of internship opportunities, which in turn widens the gap of professional as well as personal relationships with tech companies, which complicates the direct pipeline, ultimately reducing the number of tech jobs.

One of the ways that Karat has helped to close the gap is a program called Brilliant Black Minds lead by the incomparable Portia Kibble Smith (Head of D&I, Executive Recruiter, Karat).

The Brilliant Black Minds program provides four rounds of free programming interview practice, guest speaker sessions, and professional development opportunities for Black engineers.

For hundreds of years Black people have innovated and disrupted every industry and facet of American life. The Brilliant Black Minds program honors this heritage of genius by supporting engineering in the Black community. Working with organizations like Howard University, Morehouse College, and Jopwell. Karat is offers practice interviews, live coaching, and professional development workshops to Black software engineers. The results will mean thousands more Black engineers sharing their brilliance and critical perspectives at the tech companies that influence the ways we all live.

The Solution

This Fall, Brilliant Black Minds is back with a brand new interview format, they’ve upgraded their feedback systems and grew stronger with corporate clients sponsoring the program. This has ignited Job opportunities for all of its participants, everyone who opts in will have the chance to intern or land a full time role with companies like Doordash, and Indeed, that's phenomenal news to say the least.

Do you know a computer science student at a HBCU who would benefit from the Brilliant Black Minds practice interviews? if so you can sign up to Brilliant Black Minds here.

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