MMTC examines high technology equal opportunity
The July report by MMTC staff counsel Dorissa Griffin and policy board member Kristal Lauren High concluded "minorities, particularly African Americans, Hispanics, and women, remain sorely underrepresented across the high tech sector and in the ranks of some of the sector’s biggest companies."
In a foreword, Syracuse University law professor Lavonda Reed-Huff said, "As we transition to the digital age, Americans of all ethnicities must be given a fair opportunity to be true participants in the digital economy. We need not repeat the mistakes of the country’s transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy, where African Americans were hard hit and disadvantaged by government, educational, and business practices. U.S. competitiveness requires removal of intentional barriers as well as the unintended consequences of otherwise well-intended laws, policies, and business practices."
Pay is one of the areas of disparity noted. "Similarly, the full-time salary for African Americans and Hispanics, among others, with science and engineering bachelor’s degrees was 25.8 percent lower than White and Asian American counterparts," according to the study."
Citing a number of studies, they also reported, "Companies in Silicon Valley have the lowest employment rate for African Americans and women among Fortune 500 corporations."
They also noted research indicating that only one percent of venture capital funded companies were headed by African-Americans.