Underrepresentation of Hispanics and African Americans is a well-known issue in the tech industry. However, the stakeholders who have the money and the power to fix the problem are not well-known. Congressional government and Tech Companies have the money and the power to increase racial diversity in the tech field by providing resources and programs to attract Hispanics and African Americans into the tech industry.
African Americans Presentation is at an All-Time Low.
In Silicon Valley, the odd of seeing an African Americans tech worker is very low. In the article “Diversity in Tech” by J.D Rachid, the statistics show that only 1% of African Americans are present in large Silicon Valley’s tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. In addition, 1.4 million new tech jobs are projected to be created by 2020 and 70% of the new jobs will be empty at the current rates of hiring. The 2014 racial statistics of large Silicon Valley tech companies consists of large numbers of Asians and Whites (Rachid). Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, stated that “the statistics are not new to us and we’re working quite hard for some time to improve it” (Rachid). It is clear that tech companies and the government are the stakeholders of this issue.
Government Has Money and the Power
With high projections of tech jobs to increase by the year 2020, the congress uses their power to help diversifying the tech field. CBC TECH 2020 is established by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in an attempt for the tech industry to increase the presentation of African Americans in tech companies (Rachid). In addition, CBC TECH 2020 prompts actions for their partners such as private, non-profit, and government organizations to carry out their goal of diversifying tech industries (Racid). G.K Butterfield, a congressman and CBC Chair, claims that “As we try to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, many of our best and brightest problem solvers are not being included. America has yet to unlock the full potential of innovation because of the lack of African-American representation in the tech industry” (Rachid). Without racial diversity, the potential of the underrepresented individuals will not be recognized. Butterfield vows that CBC will “hit the road and take its message to Silicon Valley and beyond” (Rachid). Butterfield According to Butterfield, the CBC TECH 2020’s plans include: prioritizing African Americans for company’s board and executive leaderships, increasing African Americans in all sectors in the company including non-engineering/development sectors, and providing financial and human’s capitol to reach their goals (Rachid). Therefore, the government is one of the stakeholders because they have both money and the power in relation to the issue.
Tech Companies Address the Issue
The article “Hacking Diversity in Tech by Emphasizing Retention” by Megan Rose Dickey reveals the truth behind the diversity gap in the tech industry. It is understandable that the first step to increase racial diversity is welcoming people from the underrepresented groups to the tech field; however, retaining them and keeping them in the company is a big challenge. When underrepresented groups enter the company and leave later, the issue will not be solved in any way shape or form. Obviously, it is taking a step forward and then step back later to the starting point. Joelle Emerson, a CEO of a consulting start-up Paradigm, argues that “It’s not to say that you shouldn’t focus on hiring, but to focus on that and not focus on retention, it’s like you’re filling up a leaky bucket” (Dickey).
According to the Center for American Progress, companies would lose money if they fail to retain the underrepresented people because recruiting and hiring new employees account for 20% of the person’s salary annually (Dickey). According to Emerson, survey of how long a certain employee plans to work for the company is the best possible solutions to combat retention issues (Dickey). In addition, another way to attract and retain diversity is to ensure an opportunity for an advancement, which means giving some underrepresented groups a leadership roles as an opportunity signal (Dickey). Moreover, companies should realize that high retention rate doesn’t mean success because some people continue to work there just for money not because they enjoy their job (Dickey). As a result, tech companies should be aware of their working environment and provide higher opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds (Dickey). Therefore, tech companies have the money in relation to the issue and they give opportunities and pleasant working environment for people from underrepresented groups.
In conclusion, the government and tech companies are stakeholders of the issue. The government has money and the power to fund tech organizations as a job training for underrepresented groups in an effort to increase diversity and tech companies have the money to provide opportunities for the underrepresented groups. The government and tech companies have similar goals to provide equal opportunities for everyone and narrow the diversity gap. The government should continue to fund organizations for job trainings and tech companies should provide more leadership opportunities to underrepresented minority to ensure a retention rate.
Rachid, J. D. “Diversity in Tech.” Network Journal, vol. 22, no. 2, 2015,. Web. 17 Oct 2016.
Dickey, Megan Rose. “Hacking Diversity In Tech By Emphasizing Retention.”TechCrunch.
TechCrunch, 03 Aug. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.