If you really want a diverse workforce, why not go where there is diversity?
Nick Black, brilliant GT alum and (now former) Google engineer, says it like he sees it. His critique of Google and their efforts to improving diversity extend to most of Silicon Valley. If you really want a diverse workforce, open offices where there’s diversity.
Nick’s analysis (and I encourage you to read the whole post below) talks about the density of middle class Black workers. He doesn’t consider where there are Black workers who know computing. Computing education is still pretty rare in the US. Let’s use AP CS exam-taking as a measure of where there is CS education. In Michigan last year, there were 19 Black AP CS exam-takers. 11 in Missouri. None in Mississippi. There are middle class Black families in these states. They may not be getting access to CS education.
Google talks endlessly about diversity, and spends millions of dollars on the cause. My NYC office lends its prodigiously expensive square feet to Black Girls Code. We attempt to hook the recruiting pipeline up to HBCUs. We tweet about social justice and blog about the very real problem of racial inequality in America. Noble endeavors, all. It’s too bad that they’re not taking place where black people actually, you know, live.
According to census.gov’s data as of 2016, Mountain View is 2% black. In 2010, the Bay Area Census Project recorded 1,468 blacks in MTV. I saw more black people than that crossing Peachtree Street today. census.gov reports, as of 2010, blacks making up 25.1% of NYC, 9.6% of Los Angeles, and 6.1% of famously liberal San Francisco. census.gov does not provide data for Dublin or Zürich, but we can make some reasonable assumptions about those other largest Google offices, n’est-ce pas?
And let’s be honest — I doubt much of that 25.1% of NYC is centered around Chelsea.
Atlanta’s a bit down from 67% in 1990, but 54% ain’t so bad.