In every diversity report, each company pledges that they are making an effort to do better, but some argue that these pledges are empty. In a Theli.st post titled, ‘The Reason Why There’s No Diversity in Tech,’ Kathryn Finney, founder of digitalundivided (DID) talked about her struggle with recruiting large tech companies to help fund efforts she has been making to diversify Silicon Valley through its workforce and with black female tech founders. Â “…While companiesÂ loveÂ the work DID (and others) are doing in this space, they don’t actually want to payÂ usÂ to do the work,â€ laments Finney. “The freedom to run your life/company as you wish without outside interference is a sacred right in this community…If the hiring manager doesn’t see you as a possible friend, the likelihood of getting hired is pretty slim. Black women aren’t high on the ‘friend list.’â€
Many big-tech company apologists argue that there aren’t enough blacks and Latino’s with competency in tech to fulfill employment demands, but the pedigree found in Finney’s FOCUS100 Fellows–Women with MBA, IT, and JD degrees from ivy league schools garnering experience everywhere from Wall Street to the White House and onward–proves otherwise. Still the question begs, what will it take for Silicon Valley to make diversity a real priority? Perhaps the general market media attention will draw real action.
“Having diversity helps a company to reach a greater number of markets in a deeper way,â€ says Cofield, who also runs Walker’s Legacy, an organization for black women entrepreneurs. “CEO’s shouldn’t be asking why diversity is important. They should be asking themselves ‘How will we survive in the future without it?’â€