Is Silicon Valley Tech Diversity Possible Now?
Information technology firms have been growing rapidly and are generating high paid jobs, impressive returns on investment, and incredible stock returns. The Silicon Valley region in particular has been singled out as the global hub for innovation and income growth. Simultaneously, Silicon Valley Tech firms have generated sustained criticism for a lack of demographic diversity and repeated accusations of hostile work climates toward women and minority employees. For large Silicon Valley Tech public recognition of continued employment diversity challenges as well as claims of hostile workplaces are widespread.
We examine diversity in the Tech industry by calculating executive, managerial and professional employment shares by race and gender for 177 leading Silicon Valley Tech firms, comparing them to 1,277 smaller Tech firms. These shares come from data reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016, which every large workplace is required to submit under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Overall, we document for the first time considerable variability among firms in their employment diversity. Diversity in Tech is clearly possible now and our results suggest that some firms have already figured out how to do it.
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