Okay unless you have been living under a rock or you are just a tech phobe you have probably heard about the black in America documentary airing on Sunday! I personally am looking forward to viewing this documentary because I am in as a woman who grew up in the valley in the tech arena, I am fascinated to see how CNN and other outlets create the shock value when it comes to documentaries.
The latest according to CNN is this. Silicon valley hides its diversity data.
Okay when I graduated from college in the valley, my class had only 7 students of African descent out of 2000. Now lets make the assum[tion that we all ended up at major companies being targeted by CNN for its diversity data, what then happens is that I might still be the only one in the first company while my seven other colleagues would end up in six other companies. We would still be in the minority.
Here is how CNN discussed the lack of diversity
“Every company talks about their lovely diversity programs … but they won’t give us their data,” says Aditi Mohapatra, senior sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments, which invests in socially responsible companies and conducts its own diversity research. “What gets measured, gets managed. We need something tangible and public.”
Some companies shrug off those criticisms. Netflix (NFLX) is a “veritable UN,” according to spokesman Steve Swasey: “We don’t do anything to get diversity; we just get it. We don’t focus on it, and we don’t talk about it. It just is what it is. And we get the best people.”
But data remain elusive. Mike Swift, a reporter with the San Jose Mercury News — Silicon Valley’s hometown newspaper — began probing the topic in 2008 by requesting information from the federal government on the region’s 15 largest local employers.
His inquiry sparked a two-year legal battle.
“I did not think it was going to take as long as it did,” Swift told CNNMoney. He was surprised to be “stonewalled” by companies like Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), which calls transparency one of its core values.
Swift eventually received information on 10 of the companies he targeted, but five successfully blocked the request by convincing the Labor Department that releasing the data would infringe on their trade secrets.
Working with the data he was able to obtain, Swift found a growing problem: Hispanics and blacks made up a smaller share of the area’s tech workers in 2008 than they did in 2000. And Swift said he was “shocked” at the relative scarcity of women, who in 2008 made up just 33% of the workforce at those 10 companies — down from 37% a few years earlier.
Okay noted but it still boils down to the fundamentals here, which so happens to be silicon valley just happens to have a majority of white individuals or not as many minorities of African descent in these engineering programs. Here are three points I want to make clear in my own opinion having grown up in the bay area.
- Silicon Valley does not have a race issue
- I do not believe Tech Crunch founder Michael Arrington is Racist
- Women are a minority in the field period, it has nothing to do with race
- I will be watching the documentary on Sunday but for entertainment purposes.