Show Me The Money: Tech Companies Fail To Stop Racial Pay Discrimination

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By Sabrina Lynch

  • Black tech workers annually earn $5,000 less than their counterparts
  • African-Americans account for 7% of U.S. high-tech workforce

The pay gap for Black talent working in the technology field has widened according to new research by Hired.com; leaving African-American tech workers even more at risk to salary inequality. Despite the number of diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs developed by the tech industry to address discrimination and lack of representation, the question remains why these initiatives have yielded little results to ensure minorities are paid their worth.

Why This Matters: No matter how you break down the racial pay gap across the country, it is too significant not to be ignored. The average annual salary for Black tech workers is $124,000 in comparison to their Caucasian colleagues who earn $135,000. Moreover, Hispanic women are paid nine percent less than their white male counterparts.  Worryingly, the study also highlights the trend of companies placing less emphasis on education as a job requirement; preferring skills obtained from real-world experience.

The average annual salary for Black tech workers is $124,000

This does not bode well for Black students pursuing STEM academic studies, especially since nearly 40% of them and 37% of Latinx students are leaving STEM-affiliate majors, due to the institutional obstacles and stereotypes they face. The silver lining is that cities outside of Silicon Valley have begun inciting fresh talent to build their thriving tech hubs. San Francisco is the highest paying market for tech jobs, offering an average salary of $145,000 with Boston, Austin and D.C hot on the city’s heels offering pay packages north of $123,000.  On the whole, the persistence in widening the racial wealth gap continually overrides the intention to ensure more minority representation.

Situational Awareness: The findings in the report clearly show that the fight for salary inequality is far from over. Evidence has proven that a more diverse workforce leads to higher revenues and creative output that prevents the development of prejudiced technology, such as faults found in the use of A.I. Employing minorities is a crucial ingredient to business profitability so if these salary discrepancies are overlooked, tech-focused diversity programs targeting different races become a worthless exercise.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Sabrina Lynch

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