Study: Black and Hispanic representation in Silicon Valley has decreased

Study: Black and Hispanic representation in Silicon Valley has decreased

Representation of black and Hispanic individuals in Silicon Valley has declined according to a new study examining racial prejudice in the technology sector.

Mobility to executive positions for minorities is stagnant, even as Asian-Americans outnumber white men and women in entry-level positions according to the study by Ascend Foundation, a nonprofit Pan-Asian research and advocacy organization.

The research, based on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data from 2007 to 2015 found that in general “there were no major shifts in upward mobility for racial minorities in climbing the management ladder to become executives.”

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“There have been no changes for Asians or any other minority over time — men or women,” Buck Gee, the study’s co-author and an executive adviser to Ascend, told the Guardian. For some groups, he continued, “it’s actually worse.”

The study found progress in some areas. The number of black executives from 2007-2015 for example increased by 43 percent — Hispanic executives increased by 24 percent. The total percentage of Hispanic executives sits at 3.5 percent though, and the overall amount of black and Hispanic professionals declined.

The study also posits that a decline in black managers could augur a decline in black executives at technology companies.

The report’s findings give credence to concerns of discrimination in Silicon Valley. Earlier in the year, former Uber employee Susan Fowler exposed mistreatment of women at Uber. After Fowler’s revelations, women at other companies and firms spoke out against sexual harassment and misogyny they had experienced as well.

In 2015, Leslie Miley, an engineering manager, left Twitter because of lackluster diversity at the social media company. On Capitol Hill, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have long called for Silicon Valley to increase its diversity recruitment retainment efforts.  

“Many of these companies have told me and have told my staff that they are embarrassed with the numbers and they want to do better,” Rep. G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth Butterfield'Diamond & Silk' offer chance for bipartisan push back on social media censorship Live coverage: Zuckerberg faces second day on Capitol Hill Senate passes bill to end shutdown, sending it to House MORE (D-N.C.) said in 2015.