There’s no question that tech, just like every other industry, is highly biased. It’s become a major issue not because it’s new, but because tech drives much of the economy, which puts it in the spotlight. Added to that, more women and people of color are and speaking out publically about what they have to deal with.
Tech’s main excuse for its lousy diversity numbers is a lack of talent, so they focus on kids to fill the pipeline — but all that really does is provide 5-20 years of avoidance in dealing with the real problem
Among young computer science and engineering graduates with bachelor’s or advanced degrees, 57 percent are white, 26 percent are Asian, 8 percent are Hispanic and 6 percent are black (…) technical workers at Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter, according to the companies’ diversity reports, are on average 56 percent white, 37 percent Asian, 3 percent Hispanic and 1 percent black.
Those numbers certainly don’t add up.
The real problem is culture (duh!) — why spend eight-or-more (usually more) hours where you’re actively not wanted?
Yolanda Mangolini, Google’s director of global diversity, recognizes this problem.
“We know that it’s not just about recruiting a diverse workforce. It’s about creating an environment where they want to stay.”
True, but, in fact, the greatest company culture possible won’t cut it.
Even more important than company culture is the boss’ individual culture.
For hard proof there is Mekka Okereke, the black engineering manager who runs Google Play and seems to be missing (or controls) both conscious and unconscious bias.
That team is 10% black, 10% Latino, 25% women and 50% female managers, and has become a role model for other managers,
Obviously, Okereke doesn’t just hire strong talent; he provides an environment in which they can learn, grow and excel.
That’s what a good boss is supposed to do.
But it’s the great ones who actually do it.
Image credit: Andrew Wippler