Middle-Aged White Men Giving Presentations at CES

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The tech industry has a diversity problem and it was on full display at CES.

It's not exactly news that the tech industry tends to be pretty male and pretty white, and you can really see that thumbing through the wire photos coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. A report from CNN last year filled out the data for the story the pictures tell: The industry has an above-average rate of Asian employment (as you can see in the chart below, compiled from data CNN obtained from Intel, Ingram Micro, and Dell) --many of whom are from abroad -- and below-average rates for blacks and Latinos. 

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Women, also, are few and far between. As The New York Times reported:

Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies over all, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And among venture capitalists, the population of financiers who control the purse strings for a majority of tech start-ups, just 14 percent are women, the National Venture Capital Association says.

It's just a good reminder that when you see pictures of gadgets flowing out of CES, remember that the tech industry is not run by machines. It's run by humans, and who those people are tells us something about race, gender, and equality in industry.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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