Group Member: Jiaqi Rao, Jie Zhu, Xi Huang(Skylar)
File: Programmer writing code with Unit Tests by JoonSpoon, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Internet tech companies lack a diverse workforce. A recent Fortune survey of the top 9 tech companies in Silicon Valley reveals that women comprise about one-third of the force on average. A USA Today study discloses that top universities graduate black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering students at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them.
The lack of a diverse workforce in the Internet industry means that the industry will not have access to more creativity and a more comprehensive range of skills. It also means that gender and racial biases are so prevalent in the tech industry that talented female and minority employees in the Internet industry are rare.
Diversity by OregonDOT, licensed under CC BY 2.0.
On August 4, the First-Ever White House Demo Day was organized to showcase women and minority founders in technology. The event, along with President Obama’s call for action, sparked some major tech companies to announce new diversity initiatives. Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon all jumped on the bandwagon to demonstrate that they are committed to improving their recruitment and hiring of women and minorities. Women need to occupy a more important position in the Internet industry to show more diversity. The reality is that gender and racial biases are so pervasive in the tech industry that they are forcing talented female and minority employees to leave.
Oh, Canada! by Gavin St.Ours, licensed under CC BY 2.0.
In 2017, a Canadian study showed a 600% increase in racist, Islamophobic, sexist, or otherwise intolerant language in just one year. In Canada, eight in ten young people say they often or sometimes encounter racist comments on social media. Statements like “Muslim invasion,” for example, are overestimated across the West due to the high visibility of Muslims in the media. in 2016, Canadians believed they made up 17% of the population, compared to the reality of 3.2%.
The lack of diversity on the Internet can lead the general public to discriminate against certain marginalized groups, or create stereotypes.