Tell me if you’ve heard this before? A tech company releases its diversity numbers and is criticized by the media for data provided.
If this sounds familiar, then you won’t be surprised by Slack’s current situation. According to Reveal News, “the popular messaging company Slack released updated diversity statistics…showing above-average numbers for women and minorities in its overall workforce, but poor racial diversity on its executive rung.” While this is true, it was also pointed out in the article that four of the eight executives (50%) were non white men (two were white women and two were Asian men).
When dividing deeper into the company’s EEO-1 report covering diversity within its workplace, it is shown that 44 percent of Slack’s workforce are women. ” That’s much higher than the average for large tech companies in Silicon Valley, which was 30 percent in 2016, according to Reveal’s analysis. In 2017, 12.9 percent of Slack’s professionals, managers and executives were either black or Latino, much higher than its Silicon Valley peers at 7.8 percent in 2016.”
The company, now valued at over $5 billion, despite being a clear leader in diversity within the tech industry is somehow criticized for its current efforts. To be clear, sure the company could be doing better, but that’s not to mean that they aren’t doing a good job currently. In my opinion, the idea of diversity is a long term process that will take at least a decade to truly establish a foundation that works. It is also my opinion that Slack is currently ahead of the curve and should be celebrated for it.
Again, yes they and all others could be doing better, but the one thing we should have all learned by now is that there is no quick solutions.
And that’s ok.
But the investment of time, resources, and ideas are necessary to ensure that the next generation of skilled labor represents us better and utilizes the future demographics of America to its full potential.