Every time I read an article about the ethnic makeup of Silicon Valley, I end it with a s simple shake of my head. While I understand that, in most cases, connecting with diverse candidates can be a challenge especially when you’re exclusively recruiting from certain areas, I simply cannot understand the lack of diversity in the Executive Suite. Let me be specific. a few years ago, a study found that “there is only one Asian female executive for every 287 Asian women professional jobs at the five companies. By comparison….the ratio for white men was one executive for every 87 professional jobs.” Since that report little has been made of improvement. In fact when it comes to diversity, things have pretty much stayed the same.
The lone improvement in diversity has come with white women between 2007 – 2015. According to the Ascend Foundation research shows that “representation of white women in leadership roles improved by 17% between 2007 and 2015.” Unfortunately during the same time frame “the number of black managers sharply declined…as did the number of black women in the industry. The overall representation of Hispanics also fell, with Hispanics still representing a small fraction of leaders in these companies.”
The ability to increase representation for all both in employment and in leadership is something Silicon has struggle with for a long time. It’s odd that “white men and women are twice as likely to become executives compared to Asians” especially when they’re representation is so large, but this is just another example of improvements that need to be made in the long term.