Women and people of color

By Ofo Ezeugwu via mic.com   Article

Women and people of color have no part in Silicon Valley’s favorite myth

“The tech industry has created a modern-day gold rush. Phones and apps drive a $88 billion industry, not to mention the businesses that spawn from them, such as app-powered lodging and ride hailing. But in many ways this money is closed off to underrepresented groups. The opposite is true for those who are both white and male — they can even drop out of college, or skip it altogether, to embark on their Silicon Valley fairy tale. We see this in some of tech’s most famous founders and CEOs (such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Evan Spiegel) and even the non-celebrities (such as Travis KalanickDavid KarpBiz StoneEv WilliamsMichael DellSean ParkerDaniel Ek). It illustrates a curious dichotomy in tech: A white man can skip school and make millions, women and people of color can’t. This isn’t always the case, but it’s clear that the rest of the world doesn’t have the same welcome mat into tech that white men do.

For women and people of color, higher education is mandatory. In the CEO set, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, who is Indian-American, has his master’s degree in computer science. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, also an Indian-American, has two master’s degrees, in engineering and business administration. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, a white woman, also has two master’s degrees in economics. This pattern extends to smaller tech businesses such as TaskRabbit, whose CEO, Stacy Brown Philpot, a black woman, received her master’s degree from Stanford.

Tech company founders follow a similar trend. Whitney Wolfe-Herd of the dating app Bumble and Christina d’Avignon of wearable tech company Ringly are both white women who graduated from college before launching their respective companies. Tristan Walker, the black founder of Walker and Company, who also co-founded Code2040, received his bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and master’s from Stanford. Think of the numerous women of color founders in tech: If any come to mind, what are their backstories?”



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