Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Minorities "Underrepresented" in High Tech

According to a new study, "underrepresented minorities make up a very small proportion of high technology workforces, especially in senior level," reports the EETimes.

The study, conducted by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, found that 6.1 percent of technical men and 8.2 percent of technical women in Silicon Valley high-tech companies are underrepresented minorities.

Hmmmm. And, exactly which "underrepresented minorities" that would be? More interestingly, which minority groups would not be "underrepresented" in the tech industry?

The answer is surely no surprise.

The underrepresented minority groups are defined as African-American/Black, Latino/ Hispanic, and Native American/Native Hawaiians.

The problem is particularly acute for women of color, which represent less than 2 percent of high-level technical positions, the study finds.

Of course, not every minority group is "underepresented" in the tech industry, East Asians, Indians and Jews, though tiny minorities in the general US population, seem to do quite well indeed.

The study goes on to, naturally, recite the usual multiculturalist dogma.

The study contends that lack of diversity hurts high-tech firms. It also finds that high-tech companies are in danger of losing underrepresented minority technical talent, according to a statement released the study's authors.

Yet the study's own findings explain the problem quite well :

Women and men from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds are notably few in computer science and engineering disciplines.4 The proportion of African-American PhD recipients in the US and Canada has remained unchanged since 1995 at around 1-2%, and Hispanic/Latino representation dropped from 3% to 2%.5. Indeed, the underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the US has been a concern of policy makers,academics, and industry leaders.6 The US Hispanic population will triple between today and 2050 and grow proportionally from 15% to 30% of the total US population.7 Yet, only 6.7% of Computer Science bachelors’ degrees are earned by Hispanic/Latinos. Similarly, African Americans represent 13% of the US population, yet earn less than 5% of graduate degrees in computer science.

The underperformance of Latinos in virtually all academic disciplines, even after generations of assimilation, is indeed a major source of concern, especially since the US has suffered nothing short of an invasion of Latino immigrants over the past 30 years. But the study does not seek to understand why Latinos continue to underperform, economically and educationally, it simply takes such underperformance as, ipso facto, evidence of bias and racism.

The study goes on to list the usual litany of reasons for the failure of the aforementioned "underrepresented minorities" to gain a foothold in the tech industry, including but not limited to lack of mentors and role models, discouragement by teachers, isolation, bias and stereotyping and lack of access to social networks.

And then there are gems like this:

Organizations engage in “homosocial reproductions” and tend to evaluate people on thesame criteria as the existing senior managers — thus minorities and women become evaluated in terms of “white upper-middleclass men” criteria.37 Similarly, the criteria used in hiring and retaining workers is heavily dependent on existing organizationalcomposition.38 Discrimination is often subtly built in organizations — for example, leadership and power are often construed in terms of one’s ability to direct other’s behavior, a trait that people usually associate with white men, as opposed to construing leadershipin terms of one’s ability to achieve consensus or to listen, a trait that is most often associated with women and minorities.

Yes, it's the white power structure - all the Klansmen running Silcon Valley companies - that are responsible for some minorities being underrepresented.

The consequences of this underrepresenting of some minorities can be, well, just staggering, according to the report:

The level of under-representation of African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American/Native Hawaiians in technical positions in leading high-technology companies in SiliconValley is alarming. This is likely to limit companies’ ability to innovate and create new products for a significant portion of the user population.

This assertion is made point blank with absolutely no evidence advanced to support it. It is part of multiculturalist dogma, not to be questioned, simply to be venerated as true. The assertion rests on the idea that the minority populations in question are just bursting with talented innovators that the high tech industry is ignoring. If only we could liberate that pool of talent! Yet, the high tech industry is, actually, one of the industries most open to innovation from unknown innovators. Many of the leading high tech firms were founded by people who never even finished college.

The study also carefully avoids the question of why these specific minorities - "African-American/Black, Latino/ Hispanic, and Native American/Native Hawaiians" - are "underrepresented" as compared to other minorities including East Asians, Indians and Jews. If the white power structure is so suffocating toward the former, why not the latter? The study never asks itself if the reason certain minorities find themselves underrepresented might be due to some attribute of the minorities themselves and not the result of, wait for it, racism.

Naturally, there is no discussion of IQ in the study, since that is a topic never, ever to be discussed by the multiculturalist faithful, unless to unilaterally condemn the concept. Which is sad, because an ethnic breakdown of IQ scores does go a long way toward explaining why some minorities are underrepresented and some are overrepresented in the high tech commmunity, and why those same minorities occupy reverse representation in fields that require less cognition-heavy activity.

But don't expect that sort of analysis from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Surprise, Surprise...

In Arkansas, a gunman opens fire at two young soldiers standing outside a military recruiting center. Both are soldiers wounded; tragically, one dies. And what of the shooter?

The gunman, identified by the police as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad of Little Rock, fled the scene and was arrested minutes later a short distance from the recruiting station, in a bustling suburban shopping center. The police confiscated a Russian-made SKS semiautomatic rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a handgun from his black pickup truck.

Anyone surprised? But Mr. Muhammed wasn't always called by that name.

In a lengthy interview with the police, Mr. Muhammad said he was angry about the killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chief Thomas said. Previously known as Carlos Bledsoe, Mr. Muhammad told investigators that he had converted to Islam as a teenager, Chief Thomas said.

By all means, let's permit Muslims to recruit freely in our prisons, schools and communities, and immigrate to this country by the tens of thousands. Because that could never lead to anything bad happening...