Last year, Pinterest created an apprenticeship to bring on more engineers from nontraditional backgrounds—specifically, people who have not been formally trained in computer science. The first three apprentices, all of whom are from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, have now been elevated to full-time engineering roles in Pinterest's product engineering, mobile release, and web teams.
In a Medium post today, diversity program specialist Abby Maldonado detailed lessons learned from the apprenticeship, including how Pinterest trained its managers to help combat "stereotype threat," the idea that people worry about confirming stereotypes about their social or ethnic group:
"This fear can be distracting, using up valuable cognitive resources, and leading people to underperform relative to their true potential."
Since July 2015, the percentage of underrepresented ethnicities at Pinterest has gone from 3% to 7%, while the percentage of women in tech roles has increased from 21% to 26%. Read the post in full here. PM