By Mssr. Lee Fou
It seems that Silicon Valley has a little race problem. Here are some excerpts from The Washington Post:
Yahoo disclosed last week that African Americans made up just 2 percent of its workers, while Hispanics stood at 4 percent. Those revelations came days after Facebook reported that in 2014 it had employed just 81 blacks among its 5,500 U.S. workers.
Silicon Valley has a diversity problem, a contentious issue that has come into sharper focus in recent months as tech firms have sheepishly released updates on their hiring of minorities. The companies have pledged to do better. Many point to the talent pipeline as one of the main culprits. They’d hire if they could, but not enough black and Hispanic students are pursuing computer science degrees, they say.
But fresh data show that top schools are turning out black and Hispanic graduates with tech degrees at rates significantly higher than they are being hired by leading tech firms.
Tech’s largest firms also significantly lag in their hiring of minorities for sales, marketing and public relations jobs.
At Google, blacks and Hispanics each accounted for just
4 percent of Google’s non-technical workforce last year. At Facebook, blacks made up 3 percent of its non-tech workforce in May, while Hispanics were at 7 percent.
In the overall U.S. workforce, blacks made up 13 percent of employees and Hispanics were at 16 percent.
The lack of minorities in Silicon Valley has been met by a rising sense of urgency. Firms began disclosing their diversity data last year under pressure from groups such as Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition. And those numbers have underscored the extent of the problem in this tech hotbed, where former start-ups have matured into some of the nation’s leading economic engines. Further doubts about workplace equality in Silicon Valley were stoked this year by the high-profile trial involving former Reddit chief executive Ellen Pao, who lost her sex discrimination case against storied venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Facebook’s challenge is that it is looking for a very specific group of computer science graduates, for instance, people who understand data systems and algorithms, said Maxine Williams, the global head of diversity at Facebook.
“We are trying desperately to have a more diverse workforce and deal with the constraints on the pipeline,” Williams said.
But some in the tech world believe the focus on the pipeline overshadows the wealth of qualified minority candidates already out there.
There is a whole lot more detail at the link above. But the solution is not as difficult as the tech giants make out. They just need to hire Blacks and Hispanics without regard as to whether or not they are qualified. What’s it going to hurt? The companies make plenty of money. Maybe unqualified applicants can just learn how to code on the job.
The use of so-called job qualifications is just another exercise in White Privilege. It is a circular argument, similar to the old question in the 1960’s—did your grandfather vote? If not, then you can’t vote. If these people were not discriminated against in the first place, then they would be just as qualified as the white applicants!
It’s past time for Silicon Valley to quit being jerks and just spread the jobs and the money around! That is the only fair solution.
Mssr. Lee Fou
FootNote: The Image is of Carol Doda — the first topless dancer at the Condor Club in 1964 who became famous for boosting her breasts to 44D through silicone injections. Here is a link to a fairly recent story: