Apple, Alphabet subsidiary Google, Twitter, Snap, and some two dozen other major technology companies are joining the Catalyze Tech’ coalition which focused on promoting workplace diversity.
The Catalyze Tech coalition, which was announced Thursday, aims to hold its members accountable for improving the representation and experience of women, people of color, first-generation college graduates and the LGBTQ community in the tech industry.
“I think there’s been a realization in diversity, equity and inclusion work, that one company and one leader is never going to solve this,” said Oona King, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at Snap. Our group “spent one year answering the question: What would it take to transform DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] outcomes in tech?”
While Hispanics make up 18% of America’s population, they only represent 8% of employees at the 35 largest technology companies, according to a 2020 analysis by job-seeker firm BeamJobs. Black people made up only 5% of the tech workforce though they represent 13% of the U.S. population, the survey found…
The report also highlighted specific strategies that companies of all sizes could employ to improve diversity. For instance, firms could eliminate GPA as a filter for job seekers and expand recruitment from elite institutions to campuses with high numbers of first-generation college students.
MacDailyNews Take: Certainly, fabulously rich and profitable private enterprises donating money to education to turn out more engineers, developers, and other employees is a good thing.
That said, hard and fast quotas, insinuated by the population/employment percentages above, seem counterproductive. As we once wrote about a California diversity law that forces companies to place at least two directors from racial or sexual minorities on their boards (replaced BoD references with “employees” and “staff” below):
Diversity is good, but getting the absolute best would seem to be the better goal. Forced diversity carries its own set of problems. Would the group be comprised of the best-qualifed people possible or would it be designed to hit pre-defined quotas? Would some [employees], consciously or unconsciously, consider certain [employees], or even themselves, to be tokens meant to fill a quota?
This could also work in Apple’s and other company’s favor. Truly looking at qualified people from a larger pool could result in delivering different viewpoints and new ways of looking at things and tackling problems than a more homogenized [staff] would be capable of delivering.
Regardless and of course, someday it would be nice for everyone to just be able to look at a group and only see people, not skin color and/or gender. — MacDailyNews, January 9, 2014
The full “Action to Catalyze Tech Report” is here.
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