Silicon Valley diversity lags behind the rest of the telecom industry

The New York Times notes that, despite claiming a commitment to diversity, the tech sector in Silicon Valley continues to lag behind other sectors of the telecommunications industry, such as wireline and wireless communications.

The article cites an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filing that shows of the 1,200 employees Facebook hired in 2013, only seven were African American. Facebook’s global head of diversity recently wrote: “It’s clear to all of us that we still aren’t where we want to be.”

One would hope not, given that only four percent of Facebook employees in the US are Hispanic and only two percent are black. Of Google’s employees, three percent are Hispanic and two percent are black. EBay employee make-up is “slightly more diverse,” with five percent Hispanic employees and eight percent black employees.


Compare these numbers to diversity rates in other areas of the telecommunications industry. According to Current Population Survey data, Hispanics make up 11 percent of the wireline workforce and 12 percent of the wireless. African Americans make up 14 percent of wireline positions and 12 percent of wireless-related positions.

“It is as if these large tech companies are all reading from the same public relations playbook, delivering slight variations on the same self-effacing message,” wrote Mike Isaac, author of the article. “But while they all seem to acknowledge that there is much improvement to be made, the repetition of the statements like Facebook’s last week provides a reminder that there has been little progress so far.”


Behind Silicon Valley’s Self-Critical Tone on Diversity, a Lack of Progress (New York Times, June 20, 2015)

Tags (speedmatters)