Real Talk About Diversity in Tech

The term — “Diversity”

Tech in a Vacuum

The Institution of Racism

A Quick History Primer

Let’s Call It Something Else

Government Intervention

The After-Effects of Targeted Placement

  • A prison population going from 200,000 in 1970 to around 6.9 million in 2013. A 3450% increase in 33 years.
  • An imprisonment rate for black men that is six times more than white men.

What Can Be Done?

Long Term

  1. Laws that promote the creation of diverse communities
  • Empathy comes from mixed communities, (i.e. rich, poor, black, white, other) living in close proximity to each other, experiencing a common bond, and empathizing with each around the things that make us all fundamentally human. This is the complete opposite of the segregation encouraged by the FHA.
  1. The removal and or correction of laws that reinforce the illegality of “black lives”.
  2. The strengthening or course-correcting of the institutions created to protect civil rights.
  • For example, though organizations like the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) have admirable missions, many experience them as ineffective measures in place to appear to be doing something, but just protecting the status quo and the metrics they are evaluated on.
  1. Re-alignment of Incentives and Accountability when it comes to the distribution of Federal funds, i.e. the money of all American taxpayers. It is critical to encourage social mobility initiatives, community building and equal access, equal opportunity, equal rights and positive outcome-driven diversity actions.
  2. The re-public-ization, as opposed to privatization, of all public goods or those assets that form a part of the social contract that the government implicitly forges with its citizens, e.g. educational institutions, prisons, etc.

Short Term

The Tech World

  • In 2013, 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. This does not include HBCUs. So, in reality the rate is much higher.
  • On average, just 2% of technology workers at the leading Silicon Valley tech companies that have released staffing numbers are black; 3% are Hispanic.

Parting Remarks

--

--

Techie, Data Enthusiast, Privacy Advocate, Security Nerd. Social Justice Geek. Well-Rounded Human Being.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dr Tyrone Grandison

Dr Tyrone Grandison

Techie, Data Enthusiast, Privacy Advocate, Security Nerd. Social Justice Geek. Well-Rounded Human Being.