Study Confirms Inequality in Tech May be Worse Than We Thought

Inequality in Tech May be Worse Than We Thought


Yes, we know diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley is bad. However, a new study from OpenMIC  shows the tech industry remains incessantly white and male, despite over a billion dollars invested to create a more diverse workforce.

The report shows a diverse company is a profitable company. Businesses in the top with more racial diversity among its staff have 35% higher financial returns that the “national median in their industry.” Analysts predict that a more diverse tech sector can generate an additional $300-$370 billion per year.

Companies are heeding these financial forecasts as well as calls for diversifying from politicians and thought leaders. The industry’s investment in diversity is estimated at $1.2 billion in the last five years.

Much of this investment has gone to putting money and resources into “diversifying the tech talent pipeline;”providing them to nonprofits and universities.

However, these efforts have seen little yield. Some takeaways from the study:

  • Over the past 15 years, minorities have secured only 1-2% of available tech jobs.
  • Only 2% of tech executives are black; 3% are Latino.
  • Black, Latino, and Native American people are underrepresented in technology by 16-18% more, than compared with their presence in other sectors of the labor force.
  • People of color leave tech at a rate 3.5% higher than that of white males citing “isolation, discrimination, and toxic work environments.”
  • Companies are more prone to address gender diversity than racial diversity. From a quote within the study: “While 78% of companies report gender diversity is a top priority, only 55% report that racial diversity is.”
  • Fewer than 1% of Silicon Valley executives and manager are black.

Yet, there is evidence that the tech industry is determined to keep tackling the issue. Apple shareholders are being asked to vote on a proposal committed to diversifying the company’s executive team and boardroom.

And in his recent meeting with President Trump, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that, in addition to discussing building a $7 billion factory in Arizona that would create thousands of jobs, “It was a good chance to sit down and talk about everything from immigration, tax reform, our position on diversity and women and underrepresented minorities in the workplace,” he told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.