Black Women In Tech
Why I Have Not Been Hired According to ChatGPT
Data on the percentage of Black women in tech is limited, but research suggests that the representation of Black women in the tech industry is generally low.
According to a 2018 report by the National Center for Women and Information Technology, Black women make up only 3% of the computing workforce in the United States. Additionally, a 2019 study by the Kapor Center found that Black women are underrepresented in tech leadership positions, comprising only 0.6% of executive or senior-level officials and managers in the tech industry.
These figures suggest that Black women are facing significant barriers to entry and advancement in the tech industry. Efforts are being made to promote diversity and inclusion in tech, including initiatives to increase access to education and training programs, provide mentorship and networking opportunities, and address bias and discrimination in hiring and promotion practices.
Percentage of Black women in AI
A 2019 report by the AI Now Institute found that Black women are particularly underrepresented in AI research and development roles at major tech companies. Similarly, a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2020 found that women and minorities are underrepresented in the AI workforce.
While more data and research is needed to provide a comprehensive view of the demographics of the AI industry, efforts are being made to promote diversity and inclusion in AI fields. This includes initiatives such as creating training and educational programs that are accessible to underrepresented groups, providing mentorship and networking opportunities, and creating more inclusive workplace cultures that attract and retain diverse talent.
The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with an estimated worth of $5 trillion. Despite its potential for growth and innovation, the tech industry continues to face diversity and inclusion challenges, particularly when it comes to Black women's representation. This paper explores the reasons why Black women are facing significant barriers to entry and advancement in the tech industry, using data and statistics to support the claims.
Lack of representation
One of the most significant barriers to entry and advancement for Black women in the tech industry is a lack of representation. According to a 2018 report by the National Center for Women and Information Technology, Black women make up only 3% of the computing workforce in the United States. This figure is significantly lower than the representation of white and Asian women, who comprise 23% and 5% of the computing workforce, respectively.
A study by the Kapor Center found that Black women are also underrepresented in tech leadership positions, comprising only 0.6% of executive or senior-level officials and managers in the tech industry. This lack of representation can contribute to a lack of role models, limited opportunities for mentorship and networking, and reduced visibility in the industry.
Implicit bias refers to the unconscious attitudes and beliefs that individuals hold about certain groups of people. In the tech industry, implicit bias can manifest itself in hiring and promotion practices, where candidates are selected based on subjective criteria rather than objective qualifications. For example, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that job applicants with "Black-sounding" names were less likely to receive callbacks than those with "White-sounding" names, despite having the same qualifications.
The effects of implicit bias can be particularly damaging for Black women, who may face multiple layers of bias due to their race and gender. Research by the Harvard Business Review found that Black women in the tech industry are more likely to experience microaggressions, such as being mistaken for administrative staff or asked to take notes in meetings, which can contribute to a negative workplace environment and limit opportunities for advancement.
Lack of Access to Networks
Networking and mentorship are essential components of career advancement in the tech industry. However, Black women may face barriers to accessing these networks due to systemic inequality and exclusionary practices. For example, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that Black women were less likely than white men to have access to sponsors, who are senior leaders who can provide career guidance and advocacy.
Additionally, Black women may face challenges in accessing educational and training opportunities that are necessary for career advancement. Research by McKinsey & Company found that Black women are less likely to have access to technology training programs and may face discrimination and exclusion in educational settings, which can limit their opportunities for career advancement.
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). (2021). Women and Information Technology: By the Numbers. https://www.ncwit.org/resources/women-and-information-technology-numbers
Herring, C., Henderson, J., & Horton, L. (2019). Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Structural, Cultural, and Organizational Barriers Preventing Black Women from Advancing in the Information Technology Industry. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 20(10), 1327-1363. doi: 10.17705/1jais.00533
National Society of Black Engineers. (2020). State of Black Engineering. https://www.nsbe.org/getattachment/About-Us/News-Press/State-of-Black-Engineering/State-of-Black-Engineering-2020.pdf.aspx
Dumas, M. J., & Ross, K. E. (2020). Cracking the Code: Factors Influencing the Underrepresentation of Black Women in Computing. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 20(3), 1-24. doi: 10.1145/3377837
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Yancy, G., & Lynch, K. (2020). Examining the Barriers for Black Women in Technology. Technology Innovation Management Review, 10(8), 44-51. doi: 10.22215/timreview/1348
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Black Girls Code - A nonprofit organization that offers computer programming and technology education to girls from underrepresented communities. They offer free and low-cost workshops, camps, and after-school programs.
The Hidden Genius Project - A nonprofit organization that provides Black male youth with access to technology training, mentorship, and leadership development. They offer free summer immersion programs and year-round mentorship.
TechHire - A program of the U.S. Department of Labor that offers free tech training and job placement assistance to individuals from underrepresented communities, including Black women.
DigitalUndivided - A social enterprise that supports Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs in the tech industry through mentorship, education, and funding opportunities.
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) - A professional organization that provides resources and support for Black engineers and technologists, including scholarships, internships, and career fairs.
Code2040 - A nonprofit organization that aims to increase the representation of Black and Latinx people in the tech industry. They offer a fellowship program that provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and professional development.
Google for Startups Black Founders Fund - A $5 million fund that provides cash grants to Black-led startups in the tech industry.
Black Tech Women - A community organization that provides mentorship, networking, and career development opportunities for Black women in tech. They offer free webinars, workshops, and a job board.
HBCUvc - A nonprofit organization that supports students and alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who are interested in pursuing careers in venture capital and tech entrepreneurship. They offer free educational programs and networking events.
The Level Up Project - A nonprofit organization that provides mentorship and professional development opportunities for Black women in tech. They offer a mentor matching program, leadership training, and access to a supportive community.
Black Girls Code
Social media: Twitter: @BlackGirlsCode, Instagram: @blackgirlscode, Facebook: @blackgirlscode1
The Hidden Genius Project
Social media: Twitter: @HiddenGeniusPro, Instagram: @hiddengeniuspro, Facebook: @HiddenGeniusProject
Social media: Twitter: @OpptyatWork, Instagram: @opptyatwork, Facebook: @opportunityatwork
Social media: Twitter: @digundiv, Instagram: @digitalundivided, Facebook: @digitalundivided
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Social media: Twitter: @NSBE, Instagram: @nsbe, Facebook: @NSBE1975
Social media: Twitter: @CODE2040, Instagram: @code2040, Facebook: @code2040
Google for Startups Black Founders Fund
Social media: Twitter: @GoogleStartups, Instagram: @googleforstartups, Facebook: @googleforstartups
Contact: N/A (apply online)
Black Tech Women
Social media: Twitter: @blacktechwomen, Instagram: @blacktechwomen, Facebook: @blacktechwomen
Social media: Twitter: @hbcuvc, Instagram: @hbcuvc, Facebook: @hbcuvc
The Level Up Project