A Silicon Valley of Shame

The billionaires of Silicon Valley are at it again. This time, they are trying to divide California into six states. In fact, venture capitalist Tim Draper, recently announced that he has enough signatures to put the initiative on the California state ballot.

Though most people in California oppose the measure, Draper sees it as a way to “spread Silicon Valley’s spirit of innovation to the entire state. As John Burnett reported in Salon.com, this move would result in a segregated, heavily white community with perhaps the greatest concentration of wealth in the United States.

Considering, the lack of diversity among Silicon Valley based companies, such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo, dividing the state into six parts may not be the right initiative to tackle at the moment. Recent diversity reports, coming out of Silicon Valley, paint a very dismal picture for minorities wanting to break into tech.

A Glimpse Inside Silicon Valley’s Diversity Report:

  • The staff at Facebook is 90% white and Asian. It’s global staff is comprised of only 31% female
  • The staff at Google is also 90% white and Asian, and only 30% female
  • The staff at Yahoo is also 90% white and Asian, and only 37% female
  • Tech staff at Yahoo and Facebook is only 15% female, while Google’s is 15%
  • Senior staff at Facebook is 94% white and Asian, and only 23% female, 4% Hispanic, and 2% black


Unfortunately, these diversity hiring records at Google, Facebook, and Yahoo aren’t the exception to the rule. In fact, they represent the lack of diversity hires experienced in tech and non-tech jobs throughout the country.

While some Silicon Valley tech companies’ claim they aren’t able to find well qualified diverse, or minority candidates to meet their needs, the truth may be a larger underlying problem they don’t want to face. After all, the culture of Silicon Valley does seem to be very detached from the rest of the world. In fact, the wealth and diversity gap in Silicon Valley is one of the largest in the country.

Thankfully, there does seem to be some moment to try and rectify the lack of diversity. A recent USA Today editorial by Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, featured a glimpse into what companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo are doing to attract and hire a more diverse workforce.

One way they plan to accomplish this goal is by getting more minority students interested and engaged in math, science, technology, engineering, and arts programs. By partnering with parents, educators, and policymakers, these tech giants see education as the best place to start the change.

As Marc Morial, the president and CEO of National Urban League, stated in Burnett’s Salon.com piece, “There is no doubt that opening the doors much wider to technology jobs and technology opportunities is, in fact, a key to dealing with unemployment and the underemployment problem in the community.”

Perhaps, techpreneur Tim Draper will make this his next venture, instead of his plan to divide up California.

What are your thoughts on turning California into six states? Do you think Silicon Valley has a responsibility to encourage more diversity? Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

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