June Diversity Jobs Report Released: The Heat is on in Silicon Valley

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Summary:

Is there a talent deficit or an opportunity deficit? This is the magic question.

Recent media coverage highlights what appears to be a serious lack of diversity among the management ranks at today’s leading U.S.- based technology companies. Accusations go on to assert that these leading tech firms exercise systematic patterns of exclusion keeping women and people of color out of board rooms and C-suites. In light of the fact that information technology is one of the fastest growing industry segments within the U.S. today, an argument can be made that these practices further serve to widen the already existing racial wealth gap.

One of the leading whistle-blowers, Civil Rights icon and Rainbow/PUSH Coalition president Reverend Jesse Jackson, issued an open letter in which he pointed out that top firms including Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Google have excluded blacks and Latinos from executive positions. In an interview with CNBC last week, he calls out these companies when he states, “These companies work hard to bring in foreign guest workers. They work hard to get tax breaks. They work hard to get government contracts. They have some obligation under the laws of affirmative action and contract compliance and equal opportunity for all Americans.”

By its own admission, Google has a far from stellar record in its recruitment of Blacks, Latinos and women. In a stunning reversal, Google decided to publicly release information about the diversity of its workforce starting in June and this information points to an overwhelmingly white and male workforce. According to the company’s inaugural public diversity report, Google’s staff, especially its tech workers, is weighted heavily toward white males. The facts show that 70% of the overall Google staff are men, and that 61% are white. Asians make up 30%, Hispanics 3%, and Blacks 2% of the total staff. The company’s tech staff is 83% male, with a roughly similar ethnic breakdown. And leadership of the company is 79% male and 72% white.

“This data is a just a baseline for discussion, but we can’t end the problem if we can’t start the conversation….”

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that women account for 19.7% of software developers, Hispanics 5.2%, African Americans 4% and Asians 29.4%. According to data highlighted in this month’s Diversity Jobs Report, every minority is underrepresented in the Information Sector except for Asian and Whites who both dominate the sector.

Some Silicon Valley companies blame the lack of diversity on a “pipeline problem” claiming that there are too few qualified women and minorities. Others argue that people tend to hire people who resemble themselves and if white men are in leadership positions, then that’s who they will tend to hire. Whether there is a legitimate talent deficit or simply an opportunity deficit, it is important that there is open dialogue. “This data is a just a baseline for discussion, but we can’t end the problem

if we can’t start the conversation,” said Aditi Mohapatra, Associate Director of Advisory Services at BSR, a consulting group that works with companies on social and sustainability issues. “For the tech industry to remain silent about diversity is so not aligned with what they preach.”

Key Highlights for African Americans

  • African Americans comprise 12.1% of the total workforce.
  • African Americans are strongly represented in the Public Administration sector and make up 17.2% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.
  • African Americans are strongly underrepresented in the Financial Activities sector and make up only 8.4% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.


Key Highlights for Hispanics

  • Hispanics comprise 16.2% of the total workforce.
  • Hispanics are strongly represented in the Hospitality and Leisure sector and make up 22.0% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.
  • Hispanics are strongly underrepresented in the Information sector and make up 9.4% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.


Key Highlights for Women

  • Women comprise 47.0% of the total workforce.
  • Women are strongly represented in the Education and Health Services sector and make up 74.5% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.
  • Women are strongly underrepresented in the Transportation and Utilities sector and make up 23.4% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.


Key Highlights for Veterans

  • Veterans comprise 6.1% of the total workforce.
  • Veterans are strongly represented in the Public Administration sector and make up 14.3% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.


Key Highlight for People with Disabilities

  • Disabled Persons comprise 3.6% of the total workforce.
  • Disabled persons are strongly represented in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector and make up 4% of the overall labor force in this sector during April.
  • Disabled persons are strongly underrepresented in the Financial Activities sector and make up only 2.5% of the overall labor force.

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