A New Career Awaits with Airbnb Connect, Aimed at Increasing Diversity in Tech

SAN FRANCISCOAirbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced the creation of a new program, Airbnb Connect, intended to improve pathways to careers in engineering and data science for people from underrepresented backgrounds seeking to transition to a career in tech. Airbnb will work with organizations like Coalition for Queens (C4Q) and Galvanize to recruit talent for the program. C4Q is a non-profit that is increasing economic mobility through technology and building an inclusive tech community. Galvanize is an education company that teaches skills to grow and accelerate careers in technology.

“We will build better products if our team is as diverse as the community we serve,” said Mike Curtis, VP of Engineering, Airbnb. “We are determined to attract and retain people from diverse backgrounds at Airbnb, and we hope that Airbnb Connect opens up new opportunities for people.”

Airbnb Connect enables experienced professionals selected from a variety of disciplines to spend six months learning the skills needed to transition to the tech industry, and an opportunity to join the Airbnb team. People with 2-5 years of experience from non-tech fields will be considered. Program specifics:

  • Engineering Connect: Three associates will be selected for a 6-month paid program that combines hands-on product experience with a computer science curriculum in a closely-mentored environment . Engineering Connect participants will advance their software development skills and be better positioned to thrive in their careers as developers. The Engineering Connect program is open to  people with 2+ years of work experience who have completed a bootcamp or similar training course in computer science. Applications open in July and associates the program will start at Airbnb in September.
  • Data Science Connect: Airbnb is partnering with Galvanize to help prepare people for the Data Science Connect program. Over the course of 2016-2017, Eight associates from groups traditionally underrepresented in data science will enter a six-month program  that includes three months of Galvanize’s foundational training at only 25% of the cost of tuition (Airbnb will pay the other 75%), and three months of experiential learning at Airbnb’s San Francisco office working on a relevant business project alongside world class data scientists.

Airbnb aspires to build a team that is creative and impactful, and develop a lasting, positive culture. Airbnb Connect is the latest in a series of initiatives that Airbnb has undertaken to attract and retain people in groups who are underrepresented in data science and engineering. Some of its recent initiatives have included:

  • Airbnb’s Taking Flight series hosts quarterly dinners, tech talks and meetups to increase community among engineering professionals of underrepresented groups.
  • Developed new recruiting and retention initiatives, which have included employee education, through unconscious bias and ally skills trainings, improvements to interview and performance review processes to add more objectivity to the process.
  • Created a new tool to help better understand candidates backgrounds in order to take a more data-informed approach to recruiting and retaining talent.