Black Caucus representatives flew to Silicon Valley this week to coerce tech companies to hire more unqualified black candidates. The caucus members see the lack of diversity at the tech giants as a racial move and not one of competence.
Blacks may be underrepresented but not Asians.
Though they make up less than 6 percent of the overall workforce, Asians account for a whopping 17 percent of all tech-sector workers and a far higher percentage of engineers.
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The Sacramento Bee reported:
When the world’s leading technology firms reported their workforce demographics, the details were uncomfortable, but not surprising: Apple, Google, Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants are dominated by men, many of them white.
While company leaders have rushed to rectify their lack of diversity, launching multimillion-dollar initiatives over recent months, a separate push has come from Congress, which this year announced a bipartisan caucus to boost the numbers of women and minorities in tech. A Congressional Black Caucus effort co-chaired by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, is focusing on the dearth of African Americans in technology jobs.
On Tuesday, the caucus’s diversity task force concluded a three-day tour of Silicon Valley, including meetings with representatives of Apple, Google, Intel and Pandora. Among the black congressional group’s goals is ensuring that a growing share of the estimated 1.4 million new tech-industry positions created over the next five years are filled by qualified black applicants. Lee described the meetings, including with Apple CEO Tim Cook, as “productive,” but stressed “there is still a major, major problem.”
A black caucus survey of the top 20 U.S. technology firms found that of the 189 members of corporate boards, only three directors are African American. “African Americans have been, quite frankly, locked out of the tech workforce,” Lee said.
Still, as Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, stressed, the caucus traveled to California “to work with the tech companies, not against them.”