Monday, October 18

Latinos in Silicon Valley, an inclusion problem? | Digital Trends Spanish


In 2014, Apple decided it was a good time to make the origin of its thousands of employees transparent and began publishing an inclusion and diversity report that shows the composition of its workforce in terms of gender, race and ethnicity.

For a tech company in the heart of Silicon Valley, the results were perhaps not surprising: just 11 percent of Apple employees were of Hispanic or Latino origin. At Apple, as at all large technology companies with which it shares a segment, the majority of its staff are men of Caucasian origin.

A similar case occurred in Google: also in 2014, they released their diversity report for the first time and the place of Hispanics or Latinos was even lower than in Apple with just 3 percent. Back then, Google recognized a diversity problem and set out to broaden its spectrum by attracting new employees.

In Hispanic Heritage Month (from September 15 to October 15) we reflect on the percentage of Latinos and Hispanics in large companies in Silicon Valley.

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How much has Latino inclusion improved seven years later? In 2021, not only Apple or Google publish their diversity reports, but also other companies in the field such as Microsoft, Twitter or Facebook. And while some important steps have been taken in increasing Latino / Hispanic employees, they are still a minority in every company.

Microsoft’s most recent report, from October 2020, indicates that while there have been some modest advances, the company sees “a clear opportunity to improve representation, especially of African American and Hispanic employees.” Until the previous year, Hispanic or Latino workers made up just 6.6 percent of the Redmond company’s workforce.

Getty Images

On twitter, the numbers are very similar. Of the total of its employees in the United States, only 6.7 percent are Latino. And in specific roles, Twitter also reveals that there are 6.1 percent of Latinos in its area of ​​technology, while the number drops to 3.9 percent in leadership and management.

Twitter expects that by 2025 a quarter of its employees in the United States will be “underrepresented minorities”; currently, this percentage is around 15 percentage points and includes the Latino, Afro-American and indigenous communities.

For its part, Facebook published a report in July 2021 in which it was indicated that “there was a growth in underrepresented communities within Facebook.” The total of Hispanic or Latino workers reaches 6.5 percent, although this number varies when making a division of roles: only 4.6 percent work in the technology area, 11.3 percent do it in other departments and 5.1 percent in the sectors of leadership.

And Google and Apple, how far have they come since 2014? In 2021, the former has 8.8 percent Hispanic or Latino employees, while Apple reaches 14 percent.

San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley (Getty Images)

These numbers generally speak of an underrepresentation of the Latino workforce in large technology companies, which in the case of Silicon Valley companies has an even greater aggravation, since 40 percent of the population is of Latino origin.

Experts on diversity issues they point out There are several reasons why Latinos are a minority in big technology. One of these has to do with education and the contact networks that are created between students and professionals, which by tradition have paved the way for people of Caucasian origin and not so much for the rest.

In any case, from the diversity reports of each technology it can be drawn as a conclusion that these, at least, are clear that they are not diverse enough, a situation that they seek to improve. However, progress is still too modest to be considered a success.

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