Top technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have released diversity reports for their workforce in the past few months showing in more detail how few African-Americans are present in Silicon Valley.
Fast Company magazine sat down with nine Black technology leaders to share obstacles in the ever-evolving space, including facing discrimination, not having as much access to start-up funding as their white counterparts and the feeling of exclusion in the recruitment process.
Those interviewed were from across the technology realm: Amoy Walker, a teacher at the Girls' Middle School in Palo Alto; Tristan Walker, CEO of Walker & Company Brands; Faith Scriven, principal of Goodwyn/Powell tech-recruiting firm; Tony Gauda, founder of ThinAir and co-founder of Bitcasa; Tyler Scriven, Chief of staff of Palantir Technologies; Jaimel Gauda, director of customer success at Walker & Co.; Erin Teague, director of product at Yahoo!; Larry Erwin, business development at Google; and Kanyi Maqubela, venture partner at Collaborative Fund.
Fast Company reports:
Maqubela: It's frustrating. People are "big upping" each other because they look like each other. People are big upping each other because they are white. And if I big up somebody because they're black it's a problem somehow. That drives me nuts because, listen, I recognize [a new black hire]. We have a similar skin tone, and in fact, I do want to support somebody who looks like me. I think that's a good thing. Let's encourage that. I don't see why that is frowned upon. I don't see why that's reverse racism.
T. Walker: As a black man, if you do something well, people judge it two times in the positive direction. And if you do something terrible they judge it two times in the negative.
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(Photo: Roberto Westbrook/Image Source/Corbis)