Greetings, I am the president and founder of DiverseTech
, an effort aiming to increase diversity within the high-tech industry through collaborations with industry leaders, experts and key organizations within the field.
DiverseTech grew out of a troubling reality: that Google and other Silicon Valley companies have a terrible record when it comes to hiring African Americans, Hispanics and women. Instead, companies like Google have become segregated enclaves that are largely white, male and Asian. The disturbing hiring patterns of Silicon Valley companies only recently came to light. That is because many of these companies refused to make their hiring practices public until members of the civil rights community pressured them into doing so.
Silicon Valley's diversity problems have major implications for our society. Given that the tech industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy, African Americans and Hispanics are at risk of being left behind -- at a time when unemployment among these two groups remains higher than the national average. In its own defense, Silicon Valley has argued that it is difficult to find enough qualified minorities to hire for jobs in the tech industry. But now comes powerful, new data that undercuts that contention.
Earlier this week, USA Today published a startling report, "Tech jobs: Minorities have degrees, but don't get hired"
, pointing out that major universities produce African-American and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that top companies in the high-tech industry hire these graduates. This is happening at a time when African Americans are receiving 4.5 percent of computer science or engineering degrees, and Hispanics 6.5 percent, while Google and six other Silicon Valley companies have staffs of technology workers that are, on average, 2 percent black and 3 percent Hispanic, the newspaper reports.
I urge you to take a few minutes to read this article and join our effort to bring attention to this problem and to persuade Google and other Silicon Valley companies to engage with minority industry leaders for guidance on how to best overhaul the tech industry's troubling hiring practices.
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