Diversity Is Best for Business: A Rhetorical Analysis of The Business Case for Diversity in the Tech Industry

Overview of The Article

Is there an equal opportunities to enter the tech industry? Silicon Valley tech industries such as Google, Facebook, and Apple are underrepresenting minorities such as Latinos and African Americans. Although, the problem is obvious, the solution is subtle. Farhad Manjoo, the New York Times of the article “The Business Case for Diversity in the Tech Industry”, brings awareness to readers about the unequal racial statistics in the tech industry and makes an argument that  diversity is a missing link for tech companies to rise up and develop new things. Overall, the article is a credible source and the author is very effective in using rhetorical techniques to bring details about diversity. 

Author’s Credibility

In the beginning of the article, Manjoo provides no thesis nor any opinion regarding an issue about racial diversity in the tech industry, which questions his credibility. However, Manjoo slowly builds his credibility by using many facts from researchers that involve the tech giant Google’s efforts to increase diversity in order to improve their products and workforce. In addition, Manjoo tries to strengthen his credibility by providing an example of right-hand YouTube software developer’s inability to satisfy the needs to left-hand YouTube users. Overall, this article is mainly about Google and it has nothing to do with the author.

Why Google Is Taking Actions to Increase Diversity

Google’s executives and managers said that “By increasing diversity, Google can improve their products.” Brian Welle, the researcher who is in charge of Google’s diversity training workshop, claims that having diversity leads to more understanding about people’s needs around the world and it also gives a different perspectives on the world, which gives the company an ability to solve problems that nobody asked before. Dr. Welle also makes a big statement about Google’s mission to “come up with things that never existed before and consulting a wide range of people is the only way that Google can come up with new ideas, which leads to a more diverse workforce” (Manjoo). Based on the facts above, it is clear that tech companies should look to increase their diversity in order to develop new ideas that will lead to new innovation.

Facts from Researchers

Katherine W. Phillips, the senior vice dean of the Columbia Business School, argues that diverse groups are more creative because the differences in race, gender, and other characteristics bring unique information and experience for the task (Manjoo). Manjoo backed up Dr. Phillips argument by providing the result of Dr. Welle’s exercise of murder mystery that involves two groups: an all-white group and a racially diverse group who outperformed the all-white group in problem solving. Therefore, if diverse groups are compatible and productive, it would be a big gain for tech companies as they are trying to develop products to improve the world.

Intended Audience

Based on the summary of the article above, it is clear that the intended audience is Silicon Valley tech companies or start-ups, small or big. As a tech giant Google is taking actions to improve diversity, other companies should follow due to the success of Google in the past few years. Also, small Bay Area start-up companies should take diversity into a consideration in order to rise up and make their products useful for all. As a big name Google is giving a blueprint for diversity as a business improvement, other tech companies would look to hire a broad range of people, which can equally divide racial statistics in the tech workforce in the future.

YouTube App Glitch

In 2012, YouTube, a tech company owned by Google, published their mobile app that allows users to upload videos from their phone and a strange thing occurs. Approximately 10% of videos are upside-down, which developers found out an unexpected problem. Left-handed people picked up their phone to record in an opposite way from Right-handed people, which leads to an upside-down videos (Manjoo). In addition, Manjoo would asked a question “If Google’s designers couldn’t anticipate the needs of left handed people with an all right handed product team, how could they anticipate the needs of women with a staff composed overwhelmingly of men?” This sentence gives a strong statement about the importance of diversity in order to fulfill the needs of everyone around the globe. In this example, Manjoo makes the article much more effective because the YouTube app situation convinces readers that without diversity, some people’s needs cannot be satisfied.

Logos Appeal

Even though, the author does not give any credible information about himself relating to the topic, he maintains the consistency of strong logical appeal by continuously providing evidence and facts from researchers, which gives strength to the article from the beginning to the end. Manjoo supports his argument by writing about Google’s decision to increase diversity because the company wants to improve their products and solve the issue of unequal gender distribution and underrepresentation of African Americans and Latinos in their workplace. In addition, Manjoo backed up Google’s decision by interviewing researchers and Google’s manager to obtain their perspective on diversity, which all of them stated that diversity is a way to improve products in order to satisfy people’s needs.

Pathos Appeal

Even though the article consists mostly of logical appeal, Manjoo adds pathos appeal to his writing by mentioning the YouTube app’s incompatibility with left-handed people due to their opposite method of picking up their phone, which leads to upside-down videos for left-handed people. The YouTube app glitch serves a feeling of being left out as left-handed people cannot enjoy the new app as much as right-handed people. On the other hand, Manjoo uses words such as unhappy, uncomfortable, and severe underrepresentation, which provokes a negative connotation because it points out the struggles of African Americans and Hispanics entering the tech field. In addition, Manjoo uses the word “ignorance” to attack right-handed YouTube Software Engineers for the glitch that the app had toward left-handed people.

Ethos Appeal

There are no opinions from the author. Even though, Manjoo gives hyperlinks to his other writings, it does not relate to my topic. However, the author uses his personal interviews from the executives and researchers of big name companies such as Google and YouTube throughout the article to give credibility toward his writing because it tells readers that he is reporting the facts. In addition, Manjoo mainly uses reasoning and facts throughout the most part of the article. To sum it up, Manjoo does not have any information about his opinion on diversity, but he writes a great article that report the facts about diversity in the tech industry.

 Work Cited

Manjoo, Farhad. “The Business Case for Diversity in the Tech Industry.” The New York                                   Times. The New York Times, 26 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.


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