Does Silicon Valley Have A Diversity Problem?

Remote GoatGender and Ethnic diversity. It’s been an uphill struggle to create equality in the workplace for decades. Just as we thought it was leveling out, Silicon Valley had to go an disrupt it. I guess it’s in the nature of the beast to disrupt certain qualities so, not really a surprise there.
The NY Times goes into more detail surrounding the diversity issue in tech companies. While there are no hard stats, or stats at all for that matter, the article states companies such as Apple, Google, and Facebook have all agreed in the seriousness of improving the gender and ethnicity within their companies. This may not be hard evidence or a resounding answer from Silicon Valley as a community/singular economy/independant business hub as these companies, albeit giant companies, are only three to come out of Silicon Valley amongst hundreds more. They all have a burning desire to make in the big bad world and disrupt markets in true SV fashion. What about their employee base? Just because they aren’t in the FTSE 100 their staff base doesn’t count in the world of diversity. Get it right guys!

Moving swiftly on…there have been studies on how a diverse employment crowd can have encouraging effects on the overall business. Claiming to make the workplace more creative and profitable because of the differentiation of opinion and work style, eventually one of those styles helps to progress the business and favour it heavily in the long run.
Elaborating on the creative side, the study mentioned in the NY Times article does reference ideation and innovation increasing along with the prospect of a more thought provoking company. That being said, on the totally flip side of the coin it mentions that in the US big corporates put huge amounts of money in to attracting a diversity in their workplace to only carry on receiving discriminatory lawsuits. That sounds like a good investment of money, doesn’t it? Don’t get that wrong, diversity in the workplace is a very important aspect to consider but, these big companies, they don’t really know what they are doing the social end of a multinational company, do they?

The second study referenced looks at the financial aspect to a diverse cohort. Now, this starts off with the correct analysis in relation to The Big Three SV Co’s. The top fortune 500 companies were regarded in this article to have a significantly higher financial performance, with those that had the highest representation of women board directors, that is. For example, a few stats for you digest would be along the lines of:

– On average, 53% of those with a higher body count of women board directors had a higher return on equity

– And, on average, 66% of those with a higher body count of women board directors had a higher return on invested capital.

This isn’t to say that male directors, CEOs, Founders and other senior members of large companies should be worried for their job. Quite the opposite! They should be encouraging the diversification of their company to aid it, not to hinder it.

This loops right back round to the original article. These huge companies need to start by acknowledging the problem which, apparently they have admitted to start doing. There are many levels of a company that this can benefit from. It’s not only the programmer and developer levels in a tech company but the project side, there are customers and clients and partners, there are a whole heap of staff also. There is no one role for any gender or ethnicity and the scope of the article relays that message. What is needed is for these groups of people to stand strong and gun for those roles because from an employers view, there is great value in confidence, enthusiasm and determination. Not to mention the right qualifications, background, motivation, occupational history, Location and so and so forth!

What are your thoughts, though?


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