Skip to content
CityLab
Justice

When it Comes to Tech, Racial Disparities Are Far Worse Than Gender Disparities

Race, not gender, is the larger obstacle in limiting minority women from taking managing and executive positions in the tech industry.
Aniyia Williams, founder and CEO of Tinsel, right, talks about program placement with Kara Lee, at the offices of Galvanize in San Francisco. Williams says she has made sure to hire women and underrepresented minorities.
Aniyia Williams, founder and CEO of Tinsel, right, talks about program placement with Kara Lee, at the offices of Galvanize in San Francisco. Williams says she has made sure to hire women and underrepresented minorities.Eric Risberg/AP

The recent complaints that the lack of gender diversity in the tech industry is much ado about nothing are off the mark, and in more ways than one. The disadvantages of women in this sector are well documented, and no amount of foaming about free speech can obscure that. However, racial diversity in the tech workforce is a far more prevalent issue, especially in Silicon Valley, according to a new report from the Ascend Foundation, a business organization that represents Asian Americans.

Analyzing data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the San Francisco Bay area, the Ascend report found that in 2015 the racial gap in tech leadership positions between white men and minority men was larger than the gender gap between white men and white women.