Below is an open letter from Women of Color in Tech, an organization focused on tech inclusion, advocacy, and providing support & community for Latina, Indigenous/Native and Black women tech professionals. You can follow their work at www.wocintech.org, or if you are a WoC in tech join their exclusive online & offline communities by completing this form. Their newly launched Twitter profile is @wocintech. The organization is comprised of underrepresented women of color engineers, product managers, designers, lawyers, writers, marketing professionals, and more.
Across the Internet, headlines have lambasted the tech giants for their failed inclusion efforts.
Reports USA Today: “In all, Facebook hired 36 African American employees in 2014 even as it added a total of 1,216 employees.” Alternet also reports that in 2014, “…Facebook’s black female headcount increased by just one person over 2013 to 11.” And according to new 2015 data, while the representation of Asian employees went up slightly over the previous year, the percentage of Latino/a and Black workers at Facebook has stayed stagnant at 4% and 2% — while in the tech workforce and in senior management, the numbers are even more dismal.
The pattern continues at Twitter and Google. Despite Google’s many public commitments to improving since initially releasing its diversity data last year, new disclosures show their overall workforce remains only 2% Black and 3% Hispanic, the proportions even lower among its technical staff. And, according to its most recent EEO filings, Twitter has only 68 Latino/a employees, and three American Indian or Alaskan Native employees; among its 49 Black employees, a mere 14 are Black women.
If this pattern remains consistent, we anticipate that the statistics provided by other large technology companies will closely mirror this data. As Latina, Native, and Black women professionals in the technology sector, we are especially underrepresented as compared both to our male of color peers, and our White and Asian female colleagues. We came together to build a private community based on principles of mutual support, fellowship & reciprocity. The following is our statement on the current state of affairs in technology inclusion efforts: