Tech and innovation are massive drivers of both social and economic change. They have the power to change how people interact with each other, how we conduct business, where we work, and what our cities look like.


Tech and innovation are massive drivers of economic change, however, that change isn’t impacting all American’s the same way. Research conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey in 2018, found that African American workers are disproportionately concentrated in the kinds of roles most likely to be affected by automation. In contrast, McKinsey found that African American’s are underrepresented among software developers, which is a field with a low potential for automation.1 Research conducted by McKinsey in 2019, found that “by 2030, the employment outlook for African Americans-particularly men, younger workers (ages 18-35), and those without a college degree-may worsen dramatically.”2 This underrepresentation in the tech and innovation spaces, if not addressed will only continue contributing to the growth of the racial wealth gap.

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In their 2018 report on the gender tech gap consulting firm McKinsey found, “the percentage of computing roles women hold has largely declined in the United States over the past 25 years.” They also found the situation is even worse for underrepresented women of color. Tech companies of all sizes are still drawing “predominantly white and Asian men from elite educational institutions” according to McKinsey. Currently, women make up 26 percent of the computing workforce, with women of color making up only about 4 percent of technical roles in tech companies. There are also no black or Latina women CEOs of Fortune 500 tech companies.3


The State Within Our Largest Tech Companies
  • Facebook - The number of black employees in technical roles at Facebook has only grown from 1% in 2014 to 1.5% in 2019. The number of women in technical roles at Facebook has grown from 15% in 2014 to 23% in 2019.4
  • Google - The number of black employees in technical roles at Google has only grown from 1.5% in 2014 to 2.1% in 2019. The number of women in technical roles at Google has grown from 17.4% in 2014 to 23.8% in 2019.5
  • Adobe - Black employees comprise 2% of Adobe’s workforce. Women make up 25% of workers in technical roles at Adobe.6
Overall Underrepresentation in Tech
  • According to a 2018 Brookings report, blacks make up 7.9% of workers in computer and mathematical occupations, while Hispanics make up 6.8%.7
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4% of employed software developers in the United States are African American and 5 % are Hispanic.8