While many Blacks are enthusiastic technology users, breaking in behind the
scenes in the tech industry still proves to be a hard sell.
Despite the high number of Black technology consumers and users on popular social networking sites like Twitter, African-Americans are lagging behind in the creation of successful technology start-ups and work in the field of technology.
African-Americans make up just one percent of internet company founders nationally and, on average, Black founders raise less than half the amount of funding as companies headed by whites and Asians. Many say it is this inability to secure funding that has stalled Black tech achievement.
If the statistics weren’t convincing enough, technology venture capitalist John Doerr said this about his investment in Google, according to the Wall Street Journal:
“…If you look at Bezos, or [Netscape Communications Corp. founder Marc] Andreessen, [Yahoo Inc. co-founder] David Filo, the founders of Google, they all seem to be white, male nerds who’ve dropped out of Harvard or Stanford and they absolutely have no social life. So when I see that pattern coming in — which was true of Google — it was very easy to decide to invest.”
The dearth of African-Americans in technology has even caught the attention of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, who plans to discuss the issue at its next conference later this month.
“Through the economic downturn, the technology sector has continued to attract investment capital and create jobs. Despite that fact, African-Americans are currently underrepresented within this space,” said Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee.
The group hopes that opening up dialogue around the industry will help Blacks take advantage of the untapped employment and career opportunities the industry has to offer.
(Photo: KEYSTONE /Landov)
(Photo: Fred Greaves/Reuters)