One Phoenix woman's mission is to promote more diversity in the tech world after making her way through the industry.
Diana Lee Guzman is now working as an engineer, but she didn’t always know this was going to be her career path.
“I actually didn't know anything about engineering until probably my senior year in high school,” Guzman said.
That year changed the course of her life. She joined Carl Hayden High School's robotics team in 2013 and graduated from New York University with a computer science degree.
Guzman was born and raised in a west Phoenix neighborhood. She told ABC15 that she often felt like a fish out of water throughout her college STEM studies.
"Coming from Carl Hayden, where a lot of the students you know, they're (of) Latin descent, and then you go off to college, and specifically in engineering, there's probably, out of 100 students, I was usually the only Latina," Guzman said.
According to a Pew Research Center study published in 2021, Hispanic employees make up only 8% of the STEM workforce and Black workers make up only 9%, while White employees made up 67%.
Seeing this firsthand, Guzman teamed up with other Carl Hayden alumni in 2017 to create Coding in Color. It’s a nonprofit organization that aims to close the gap and help students like Kyley Jones.
Jones said, “Even in my own school, it's like a very small amount of... women coming in. So, I think with this program...it definitely helps. She's definitely looking for more women, more diversity.”
The organization holds different workshops to try and expose more underrepresented students to the stem fields and show them the different things they can do and build.
They went virtual because of the pandemic in 2020 but are starting to host in-person workshops again.
Jones hopes more of her peers will be willing to take a chance like she did.
“It's something that you should just go for and try something. And if it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. And you'll know, like, this isn't for me,” Jones advised.