Blacks and Latinos graduate with degrees in computer science and engineering from top universities at rates that aren’t reflected in the tech industry’s hiring practices, a USA Today investigation found.
Elizabeth Weise and Jessica Guynn report for USA Today:
On average, just 2% of technology workers at seven Silicon Valley companies that have released staffing numbers are black; 3% are Hispanic.
But last year, 4.5% of all new recipients of bachelor’s degrees in computer science or computer engineering from prestigious research universities were African American, and 6.5% were Hispanic, according to data from the Computing Research Association.
The USA TODAY analysis was based on the association’s annual Taulbee Survey, which includes 179 U.S. and Canadian universities that offer doctorates in computer science and computer engineering.
Diversity, and the lack thereof, has been the talk of the tech industry this summer as top companies including Twitter, Google, Pinterest, eBay, Facebook, and Microsoft slowly succumbed to public pressure and shared the racial and gender breakdowns of their staff. Unsurprisingly, the tech world is a white- and Asian-male dominated industry.
Amidst the hand-wringing, the USA Today investigation findings should quell one common rejoinder, which is that there just aren’t enough talented black and Latino applicants, The New School professor Darrick Hamilton tells USA Today.
Getting more women and people of color into technical positions isn’t important merely to fill out a company’s diversity profile. Some science and technology educational programs argue that getting girls of color into the tech pipeline is a matter of equity and economic sustainability.