Hearing from the leaders of the tech world is always revealing, and very often surprising. In our second annual Silicon Valley Insiders Poll, a panel of 101 executives, innovators, and thinkers weigh in on some of the biggest technological, political, and cultural questions of the moment.
According to a recent survey of elite U.S. and Canadian universities, black people earned 4.1 percent of all computer-science bachelor’s degrees in the last few years. Yet blacks only make up about two percent of recent hires at tech firms.
Sexism has long been a thorny problem in the technology industry. But recently, many have pushed for the sector to look anew at its considerable racial and ethnic homogeneity. Blacks and Hispanics make up about 13 and 16 percent of the American workforce, yet at no major tech firm do they constitute more than five percent of employees.
So how bad is racism in Silicon Valley? In our poll of 101 leaders in the technology industry, we asked people to rank the scale of its problem between one and 10. One signaled that the problem wasn’t very bad at all; 10 that the state of things was unconscionable.
Respondents pegged the lack of diversity at a little more than a seven. That’s just about where they judged the Valley’s sexism as well.