Race and New Technology

The new tech economy has not conquered racial bias, writes the author.

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idea_bulbResearch shows that more-homogeneous companies are more prone to misguided groupthink, are less creative, and tend to be less profitable. In the words of Larisa Ruoff, who represents a socially responsible investment firm, “We live in an increasingly complex global marketplace, and the companies that can hire, attract and retain women and people of color are better equipped to capitalize on global opportunities and avoid missteps that may not be apparent to a more homogeneous group.”

Although more and more research shows that diversity is good for business, workforce statistics released by Silicon Valley technology companies show a startling lack of diversity. For example, Latinos and African Americans combined make up less than 5 percent of the tech workers at Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and eBay. There is good reason to believe that women of color are even scarcer since both women and people of color are underrepresented in the new technology firms. One reporter dubbed a black female software engineer in Silicon Valley a “super-minority” because black females are such a rare finds.

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