Study: Plenty of Qualified Blacks, Latinos Available for Tech Jobs

While most tech giants claim that their employees are almost all white, Asian or male because those are the applicants they get, new research stats proves that to be untrue.

Photo by Shutterstock

By Julissa Catalan


Photo by Shutterstock

New analysis by USA Today is contradicting what many technology companies have been telling us in defense of their (lack of) diversity data—a shortage in Black and Latino job seekers within the tech industry is not the reason for the demographics in Silicon Valley companies.

While most tech giants claim that their employees are almost all white, Asian or male because those are the applicants they get, new research stats prove that to be untrue.

In fact, Blacks and Latinos majoring in computer science and computer engineering graduate at twice the rate compared to the amount actually being hired within the tech industry.

"What do dominant groups say? 'We tried, we searched but there was nobody qualified.' If you look at the empirical evidence, that is just not the case." said Darrick Hamilton, Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at The New School in New York.

On average, only 2 percent of Silicon Valley employees are Black; 3 percent are Latinos.

"They're reporting 2 percent and 3 percent, and we're looking at graduation numbers [for Blacks and Latinos] that are maybe twice that," said Stuart Zweben, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University.

"Why are they not getting more of a share of at least the doctoral-granting institutions?" said Zweben, who co-authored the 2013 Taulbee Survey report.

The USA Today analysis was based on the Taulbee Survey, which includes 179 American and Canadian universities that offer Ph.D.s in computer science and computer engineering.

According to data from the Computing Research Association, 4.5 percent of bachelor-degree recipients in 2013—majoring in computer science or computer engineering from top research universities—were Black, while 6.5 percent were Latino.

Meanwhile, a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that Blacks and Latinos accounted for 9 percent of computer-science graduates in 2012.

Overall, Blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. workforce, while Latinos account for 16 percent.

Companies like Apple, Google, Twitter and Yahoo! were all under fire earlier this year when they voluntarily released their diversity data—after much protest.

Apple's leadership is 64 percent white, 21 percent Asian, 3 percent Black, 6 percent Latino, and 30 percent women.

Google's leadership is 72 percent white, 23 percent Asian, 2 percent Black, 1 percent Latino, and 21 percent women.

Twitter's leadership is 72 percent white, 24 percent Asian, 2 percent Black, 2 percent Latino, and 21 percent women.

Yahoo!'s leadership is 78 percent white, 17 percent Asian, 1 percent Black, 2 percent Latino, and 23 percent women.

USA Today asked all the aforementioned companies to comment on the gap between Black and Latino graduation rates and their hiring rates. All of the companies declined.

None of these tech giants have participated in the DiversityInc Top 50 survey.

As a point of comparison, below are senior leadership representation stats from Top 50 companies versus Silicon Valley.

 

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