The major tech companies finally gave in and published their statistics confirming the stark reality that the technology industry excludes workers who are African American, Latino, Native American and especially those who are women of any ethnic or racial background.
For example, California’s Hispanic population now stands at 39%. But though most tech companies are headquartered in California, their average percentage of employees who identify as Hispanic is less than 5%. Take Google, whose headquarters are located in Mountain View, CA, where Hispanics make up 21% of the population —its staff is only 3% Hispanic. The statistics are just as stark when it comes to gender exclusion: The industry average is that only 1/3 of employees are women.
Obviously, some will quibble about the correct basis for a proportional comparison, and whether we should compare to a state or a municipality or the whole country, and how to correct for factors like education. The statisticians are presumably busy with these concerns already.
But there’s one conclusion that is inescapable: Asian American men who work in tech are benefitting from tech’s systematic exclusion of women and non-Asian minorities.
At companies like Yahoo, LinkedIn and Pinterest, Asians represent nearly forty percent of the employee base. At LinkedIn, for example, Asian Americans are 38% of a workforce that’s based in California, where Asian Americans make up only 14% of the population. It’s impossible to determine from the outside whether the gender makeup of the Asian American subset of workers at these companies exactly parallels that of the overall workforce, but there’s no question that men are wildly overrepresented.
So: where are the Asian American men in tech talking about our complicity in denying opportunity to our fellow people of color? Where are tech’s Asian American men advocating in a meaningful way for women?
Written by Anil Dash,