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Monday, June 1, 2009

Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans only make up 6.8% of engineering and other technical staffers in the tech industry,

AAPP say: I Guess a 40-60% high school drop out rate is impacting black, latino, and Native American communities big time.

It's clear that the high-tech industry has a diversity problem, according to a new study.

Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans only make up 6.8% of engineering and other technical staffers in the tech industry, the Anita Borg Institute, a group that promotes the hiring of women in high-tech, said on Monday. These groups make up an even smaller percentage of workers at higher levels within tech companies.

So-called under-represented minorities make up 27% of the population as a whole and receive 18% of undergraduate computer-science degrees. They earn 8% of masters and doctoral degrees in computer science. But they were barely present at the seven large Silicon Valley companies the Anita Borg Institute studied. (The companies weren’t identified.)

“You need diversity to have innovation,” says Caroline Simard, the study’s author. But the high-tech industry has become inhospitable to these workers, who instead choose to work in technical jobs in other industries or pursue careers in marketing or sales. One problem is the lack of senior leadership that under-represented minorities can look up to: Black men only make up 1.8% of high-level technical employees in high-tech, and black women 1.6%; Hispanic men make up 2.5% of high-level workers; the study didn’t find any Hispanic women.

Many under-represented minorities quit their jobs due to a lack of diversity, making the lack of minority workers a self-fulfilling prophecy. More than half of the women of color included in the study said that they were looking to leave their companies, says Simard. More HERE


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