Federal report: High-tech employers hire more men, whites and Asians than the overall private sector

Posted May 19th, 2016

Story highlights
  • Federal report: the high-tech industry hires more men, whites and Asians than the private sector at large.

A federal report released Wednesday highlighted what many people who work in the tech industry already know: that some minorities and women are vastly under-represented in this economically potent industry. 

The report says that the high-tech sector employs more white, Asian-Americans and men than the private sector at large. And it employs fewer women, African-Americans and Hispanics than the private sector. 

This graphic below breaks down a lot of the report's conclusions: 

To compile this report, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looked at "employer information" reports, which contain data on the race and gender of employees for firms with headcounts over 100. 

This data was collected in 2014 but stems from fiscal year 2013.  

One of the more eye-opening aspects of the report examines why there is a diversity problem in high-tech. Besides the obvious - lack of diversity in the tech education pipeline and unconscious biases - the report spotlights how the workplace environment can be hostile to women and minorities. 

A survey of female scientists showed:

  • Two-thirds of women reported having to prove themselves over and over again, with their success discounted and expertise questioned. Three-fourths of black women reported this issue. 
  • Fifty-three percent of women reported a backlash from speaking their minds directly or being outspoken. 
  • Two-thirds of women with children say their commitment and competence were questioned and opportunities decreased after having children. 

The EEOC report does not examine the Austin area, focusing on a closer look at Silicon Valley workforce trends.

But curiously, the report discusses which cities deserve a more thorough examination and Austin is not on that list. Instead cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle and Dallas are cited as worth "future research."