Diversity in Tech: So Few Minority Tech Executives, You Can Count Them on Two Hands — Rainbow PUSH Study
This year we've learned a lot about the tech industry's employee diversity, or lack thereof. Now, a new survey by the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition reports that at the top levels of Silicon Valley companies, even fewer minorities can be found than elsewhere.
The new study of the top executives at 22 tech companies -- the results of which were published this week by Jackson's go-to newspaper, USA Today -- found that you could count the number of black and Hispanic tech executives on two hands.
Officially, the survey's states that less than three percent of the top executives at the 22 major tech companies were black or Latino. But looking at the actual number of minority leaders leaves and even starker impression:
"Of the 307 top executives at 22 companies, six are black and three are Hispanic, the survey found," wrote USA Today. That's nine minority executives out of a total of 307 leadership positions in the surveyed companies.
From the biggest companies, Apple leads in diversity among executives, with two black VPs -- both in charge of non-technical aspects of Apple's business (environmental initiatives and human resources). Hewlett-Packard has a Latino Executive VP in charge of marketing and communications.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition also looked at the boards of directors of 20 major Silicon Valley companies in another recent survey, finding similarly grim results for diversity. That survey reported that eleven major companies, including Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, and Google, had no minorities on their boards. In total, only four out of 189 board positions in the companies surveyed were black of Hispanic.
Jackson, who led a push for workplace demographic transparency in the tech industry this year -- resulting in a deluge of disclosures from major tech companies showing variously similar levels of white and male domination in Silicon Valley -- is continuing to call for change at all levels of the tech industry, from service workers all the way up to top-level executives.
"Tech companies cannot afford to continue to lock out blacks, Latinos and women who comprise the consumer base companies depend upon to win," Jackson said. "Their C-suites, boards of directors, supplier and vendor base, and workforce must look like America."
According to the latest government statistics from 2010, representation of Latino and black women and men in all STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields is incredibly low across the board.
Hispanics only made up 6 percent of employees working in STEM occupations, and black men and women together only accounted for 5 percent.
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