by Karla Jo Helms
Originally published: March 14, 2017
The number of new devices connected to the Internet is estimated to reach 21 billion by 2020, but recent reports indicate that the tech sector’s diversity and inclusion practices have failed to meet a commensurate level of innovation.(1),(2) Detailed allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at Uber from a former high-performing female employee have shed a harsh light upon the situation,(3) and a look at the tech sector’s diversity metrics provides further insight.
From a 2016 report by Intel and Dalberg Global Development Advisors, almost two-thirds of tech workers are white. The industry could, however, generate an additional $300-$370 billion annually if the racial/ethnic diversity of their workforces reflected that of the national talent pool.
“The problem isn’t going away, and it will take some intense soul-searching on the part of tech leadership to get to the root of what ails it,” said Bill Proudman, co-founder and CEO of leading diversity and inclusion consulting firm White Men As Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP), which has worked extensively with Dell and other Fortune 500 tech companies.(4) “A promise to make it go away doesn’t make it go away, and positive change is more powerful and resonant than negative change.”