Workforce diversity at online companies - Statistics & Facts
The technology industry is characterized by its constant strive for innovation, growth, and progress. It is, however, also coined by significant disparities in relation to its workforce along gender, race, and ethnicity lines. A closer look at the employee demographics of some of today’s leading online companies reveals a distinct underrepresentation of women and minorities across most computing-related occupations. This issue was made public in 2014, when Google and other Silicon Valley tech titans released their first diversity reports, breaking down their respective workforces by race and gender. These reports illustrated that the companies’ employees were predominantly white or Asian American men, and despite increased efforts at diversifying its labor force, the tech sector is still skewed towards these groups many years later.
While many online companies have committed to fostering diversity and progress is being made, bias training in companies will not suffice as a long-term solution. In fact, the underrepresentation of minorities in these circles can also lead to racial or gender bias in AI systems. If the design, development, and testing of computer systems are being carried out by just one homogenous group, people who fall outside this established data set can face various forms of discrimination that might range from financial to juridical issues. In order to feed new technology with data that represents and serves the general public, a diverse workforce needs to be engaged in its creation.
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