Opening doors for women of color in tech: Per Scholas

Jul 20, 2023

Through Per Scholas, Carla overcame barriers and lack of representation in the tech industry, gaining confidence and skills through the program to pursue her goals in the field.

Carla Davis, a recent Per Scholas Greater Boston graduate, is currently part of the Site Reliability Engineers Development Program at MassMutual, something she didn’t think she could do before her training at Per Scholas. With a workforce hiatus and minimal experience in technology, yet a passion for the industry, Carla took a chance and applied for Per Scholas’ Network Support course to get into the IT field.  

Previously, Carla didn’t see much opportunity in the tech field for her as a Black woman. She shared, “I saw that a lot of minorities are not in tech and we didn’t have the guidance or the mentoring, so we kind of opt-out and don’t think of it as a field that we’re used to seeing.” Getting into the tech field as a woman of color was “extremely difficult,” Carla reflected.  “Hopefully, I can be some kind of example for others, but it was extremely difficult to get my foot in the door. The instructors and courses at Per Scholas showed me that if I worked hard, it is possible to get the certifications and get the jobs.”

Carla found that there wasn’t any diversity in the tech sector.  None of her professors in college were culturally diverse and there weren’t any women either. Fast forward to her time at Per Scholas, and Carla noticed that her instructors and colleagues were diverse and had backgrounds like her, which made a difference in her experience and motivation to complete her training. 

“The Per Scholas instructors took a direct interest in me and realized what my strengths and weaknesses were so we could work on both.” Her training gave her confidence to continue in the tech field and the instructors helped her see the value she could bring to the industry. 

Carla reflected on her experience getting into the industry, “Even if you don’t have the same starting place, you can learn it.  As African Americans, we are using and buying technology, and Per Scholas encouraged us to not just be consumers of it but to be part of it. Success in the field is not based on just intellect; it’s based on exposure.”  

In the future, Carla hopes to mentor other Black women and culturally diverse individuals in the tech field to chase their passion as she has.

Empowering career pathways in Boston’s tech industry: Per Scholas

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Empowering career pathways in Boston’s tech industry: Per Scholas

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