As Google wrestles with the way it compensates males and females amid a Labor Department investigation and a capability magnificence motion lawsuit alleging it has underpaid women, a New York Times file reveals the business enterprise has seemingly tipped the scales the alternative manner and started underpaying low-degree male engineers. But in response to this information, industry observers point out that remedying the evident underrepresentation of girls and people of colour in tech transcends pay by myself. The obstacles that prevent various people from advancing interior Google and other Silicon Valley giants are complicated and ingrained in the tradition of the tech and engineering world. In different phrases, it’s complicated.
Further underscoring the demanding situations of addressing the diversity gap is the latest complaint leveled at the venerable TV information magazine 60 Minutes. The display drew hearth from Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani whilst it aired “Cracking The Code,” a story about the undertaking of bringing more women into the generation area yet did now not spotlight any lady-led efforts. And in doing so, like Google’s current try and mitigate inequities through pay, the file oversimplified why the industry has struggled to transport the needle. After spending 5 years interviewing greater than 300 woman engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, university students, and assignment investors for Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech, the ebook I and co-writer Samantha Walravens published in 2017, I can say with conviction that there’s a whole lot greater to the story.
The broadcast focused at the “pipeline trouble,” and efforts to encourage extra girls to learn how to code and enter the sector. Yes, there is a dire want to get greater youngsters from all styles of backgrounds to increase twenty-first-century competencies to fill the roles of the next day. But there are also essential problems that want to be fixed in the groups powering the virtual financial system itself. As Saujani argues, real exchange calls for considerate action throughout the entire schooling continuum and tech ecosystem — from kindergarten classrooms through university and grad college lecture halls and into the personnel. Yet, the 60 tales left out the challenges of maintaining ladies and those of color and the reasons for what a few have termed the “leaky pipeline.” It glossed over how bias and sexism inside tech agencies is directly related to the dearth of girls and numerous people in management and on corporate boards; the salary gap; the lack of project capital invested in startups based by women and people of colour; the manner AP laptop science used to learn in high colleges until the College Board revamped it in recent years; the few girls in tech portrayed on TV and at the big display screen; and the dearth of significant recruitment at HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and in cities out of doors America’s coastal tech hubs.
As a former community TV information correspondent, I am pretty familiar with the editing procedure and how hard it’s miles to boil down a complicated television tale into a succinct piece. I will admit I do no longer recognize what became left at the “slicing room ground.” (As this post became being posted, Ayah Bdeir, founder of little bits found out some details of ways her interview failed to make it into the piece.) I did put in a request for comment on Saujani’s issues and CBS has not but spoke back. A section on CBS News This Morning the day after the 60 Minutes piece aired took a far more thorough have a look at the issue with the aid of inspecting employee-led movements combatting gender discrimination which have bubbled up inside Google and different tech businesses in latest years.
But as I sat with my circle of relatives to watch Sunday night’s broadcast (consisting of my center school-aged daughter and son, who have each participated in Code.Org’s programs), I changed into struck by the lack of depth and the ignored opportunity to elevate the voices of the underrepresented people main the grassroots motion for cultural change and the effect they may be having. A deeper dive and airtime for activists like Saujani, Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code and CSforAll’s Ruthe Farmer and businesses consisting of NCWIT; BUILTBYGIRLS; GirlsMakeGames; Project Include; she++; the Girls Scouts; digitalundivided; Backstage Capital; Pipeline Angels and endless others helmed by means of girls and those of colour may want to have introduced precious insights to this nuanced tale.