Skills-Based Hiring: A Game Changer for Equity in Tech

Bridgette Wallace

Bridgette Wallace

Bridgette is the Executive Director of G{Code}.

Governor Healey’s executive order to implement skills-based hiring in Massachusetts is a landmark decision, particularly impactful for organizations like G{Code}. As its Executive Director, I have seen the profound effect of valuing skills over academic credentials, especially for those marginalized groups who are trying to enter the tech sector.

Consider the story of Maria, a G{Code} graduate. Before joining our Intro to Web Development program, Maria struggled with housing insecurity and juggling multiple low-wage jobs. After completing our program, she landed a lucrative internship role in tech, a true reflection of her untapped potential. Maria’s journey is not unique at G{Code}; it mirrors the experiences of many participants who have risen from economic hardship to greater stability through thriving tech careers.

Our statistics show that roughly 42% of Intro to Web Development participants have battled housing insecurity. Impressively, more than 60% secure tech-related employment post-program, witnessing an average salary increase of 50%. These figures powerfully advocate for the effectiveness of skills-based education and employment strategies.

I call upon businesses and organizations throughout Massachusetts to adopt this skills-based hiring model. This isn’t merely a shift in policy – it’s an embrace of inclusivity and diversity in the workforce.

While some contend that skills-based hiring could diminish the value of traditional education, our approach at G{Code} demonstrates the opposite. We recognize and honor diverse educational journeys and experiences, aiming to broaden, not replace, the avenues to opportunity and success.

At G{Code}, we forge meaningful collaborations with local tech companies and educational institutions, bridging the gap between unconventional talent and the industry. These partnerships are vital for successfully implementing skills-based hiring, proving that such an approach is equitable and economically prudent. Furthermore, this method fosters innovation and growth while unlocking a broader talent pool to join the workforce. 

This initiative propels Massachusetts to the vanguard of a worldwide movement toward more inclusive hiring practices. It is a pioneering model for other states and nations, highlighting the immense value of skill diversity.

Governor Healey’s executive order transcends policy reform; it symbolizes a beacon of hope for countless individuals. It aligns seamlessly with G{Code}’s mission to empower underrepresented groups in tech through skill development and mentorship. By focusing on individuals’ capabilities rather than their academic qualifications, we are opening doors to a wealth of talent that has been overlooked for far too long. Let’s collectively embrace this transformative change and cultivate a more inclusive, skilled, and dynamic workforce in Massachusetts.

Bridgette Wallace 
Executive Director, G{Code}

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