Thursday, March 24, 2016

Diversity's more than gender - CIO

by Sharon Florentine 
Originally published: March 23, 2016

There's more to the diversity-in-tech equation than just gender. Two solutions that I've heard of recently are tackling the lack of black professionals in these fields.

Despite the IT industry's push for greater diversity and inclusion, there's still a long way to go. Though there's been a major effort, industry-wide, to increase the numbers of women working in the industry, there's still a dearth of black, Latino/Hispanic and native American tech talent. In 2014, USA Today reported that black and Hispanic tech talent made up 4.5 percent of computer engineering and computer science graduates, based on data from the Computing Research Association's most recent Taulbee survey from 2013-2014, which measures graduation rates, degrees awarded and salary based on data from 170 US and Canadian universities for the previous year. The 2014-2015 Taulbee survey results will be available in May; I'll be eagerly awaiting the results in hopes it'll show even greater gains.

That 4.5 percentage is nearly twice the rate at which Silicon Valley companies were hiring these graduates, according to diversity and inclusion statistics from the same year: Two percent of hires were Black and just 3 percent were Hispanic in 2013. There's been some progress made, at least according to updated statistics I was able to find. In September of 2015, I looked at Silicon Valley heavyweights' demographics and the numbers showed that, on average, 6 percent of companies' workforce is Black and 5 percent are Hispanic/Latino.

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