It is my understanding that technology employment is not as diverse as it should be. Most of the candidates come from just three backgrounds: White, Asian, South Asian, and most are males. It is unfortunate that American Colleges and Universities graduate about 5% of their Computer Science/STEM graduates from a minority background, and yet only 50% may gain employment in technological fields. What’s even bigger problem is the massive under-representation of minorities in Venture Capital. The statistics point to a Venture Capital system that systemically chooses White male founders in 90% of all investments. With the next 9% going to Asians, and only 1% for everyone else. How can this be the case in a country such as the United States, which claims to have Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity laws to protect those that have been historically excluded from certain professions? Clearly, something needs to change.
One suggestion, is that prominent minorities, such as those Actors, Musicians and Athletes, should partner with colleges and engineering professionals to create new Venture Capital groups that can hopefully review and fund business plans of minority candidates. I am certain there are many ideas that are yet to be implemented, and many inventions that still need to be discovered. Since simply pointing out the discrepancies among those business plans that have been funded and those that have not, doesn’t seem to be improving the situation. One has to clearly choose a path of independence and hopefully people can come together to create new ventures.
Another suggestion, is for those who are minority candidates in Computer Science/STEM fields, to work towards creating their own businesses outside of the Venture Capital community. There are many courses designed to educate people on how to create an online business with little to no money to start, and certainly web technology is now more accessible then ever. Why not take the chance and create a web business on the side? Consider that web hosting is very inexpensive, with plans costing just a few dollars a month. Additionally, WordPress and OpenCart are free and can be utilized to create a site with just point and click (instead of coding). The key of course is attracting quality leads and being able to market to them and get conversions, but this is not that hard with SEO plugins available and websites that sell solo-ads providing clicks for just 35 cents per click. Further, there are several free/inexpensive tools/sites that can be used to generate landing pages and integrations with automated email marketing solutions.
You will notice that the potential solutions I mentioned do not include actually trying to change the existing Venture Capital system for the better. The reason is I believe its a lost cause to go to the very people who are excluding minorities from Venture Capital, and expect a different result. Especially when many of them have openly stated they only want to fund people who look like Mark Z. So the next best thing is for all of us who are in Computer Science/STEM, but do not necessarily fit the image of the status quo, strive to create our own Venture Capital Funds and our own corporations.
We at ObjectSoftware.biz are firmly committed to Diversity in technology.