Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Missing People Of Silicon Valley

It's the land of the entrepreneur and the dream place for those aiming to birth a billion dollar start-up company. In the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay area lies a place called Silicon Valley, and it is the home of most of the world's largest technology corporations. It has prided itself for being the place to be for venture capitalist and young CEOs. However, these super-rich businessmen and executives failed to mention that blacks and other minorities have an extremely low representation among this group.

Within the past year civil rights activists have pressured tech firms to release the figures on ethnic and racial makeups of their companies. Seekers of this information had believed that this data was hidden from the public. Surprising to most, the result of these numbers perhaps indicate that there may have been reason for the conspiracy theory.

Google was the first to report its numbers on the company's racial makeup. Out of its 46,000 employees there were only 2% who were black, and only 1% represented its technology workforce. Similar to Google, only 1% of Yahoo's 12,300 employees are black; and only 1% of black people comprise Facebook's list of employees. Apple appeared to be the least shameful of the pack with 7% of blacks making up its workforce; however, when you factor in the number of minorities working in Apple's 425 retail locations, that slightly higher percentage simply masks the company's poor representation of the group.

African-Americans have represented every aspect of business in the United States, but no black man nor woman has attained a high level of success in the technology industry. In this recent time of protest for police humaneness, certainly this writer isn't suggesting that racial discrimination is the reason for the misrepresentation. But surely there are talented young black entrepreneurs in the San Francisco area; and surely there are enough venture capitalists willing to give these highly-educated young people a chance to start a business. Therefore, if you shed the idea that racism exist in Silicon Valley then certainly one would have to ask, so why keep these numbers a secret?

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