SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — After years of talk and little action in Silicon Valley, there is new evidence that diversity in tech is actually getting worse.
That evidence is leading to a call to motivate executives with money.
Google employees are so fed up with the lack of progress hiring women and minorities, they’re taking matters into their own hands. At Wednesday’s shareholders meeting, a Google staffer will pitch a plan to tie executive compensation to diversity goals.
The move comes as a new report shows there may actually be fewer Latinos and African Americans in the tech industry today compared to five years ago.
Part of the problem may be “diversity fatigue”.
All it takes is a quick scan of the faces in the crowd at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday that in 2018, there are still very few women and minorities in the high tech industry
“I come in to the room, I’m the only black face,” said iOS developer Leke.
According to Abolade, diversity efforts aren’t working. He says the crowd looks like this at practically any tech gathering in Silicon Valley or his native country of England.
“It’s a problem, not just with Apple, but with so many different technology industries,” said Abolade. “So yeah, it’s definitely failing and I hope more people can realize it is a problem.”
Over the past decade, many companies focused on diversifying their workforce.
But one report found that between 2007 and 2015, the number of African American and Hispanic professionals in Bay Area tech actually dropped.
The number of women in tech also dropped in the same period.
A new survey from software developer Atlassian shows individual participation in diversity programs is also declining due to what the report termed “diversity fatigue.”
“By saying that there is diversity fatigue, you are saying, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t solve this problem,'” said Protima Pandey, the Director of Santa Clara County’s Office of Women’s Policy. “And I don’t believe as a community we should ever do that.”
Pandey says companies should throw out their diversity programs if they aren’t working and find something that does.
“I can Facetime my mother in India in a second. We’ve solved that problem,” said Pandey. “We can’t solve the problem of more women in the workplace?”
Jade Lockard hopes to solve part of the problem herself.
She is one of four young African-American women who co-founded the inHous Company, an app company that makes it easy to donate spare change to colleges and universities.
“Often, I’m one of the only black women, especially as a college student too,” said Lockard. “But it’s really exciting for me to encourage other black women to get into the technology field.”
She hopes to someday hire a large and diverse workforce for her own company. That, she says, will make it even better.