Being Invisible (Part II): No People of Color in Tech?!!

HBO's new show "Silicon Valley"

HBO’s new show “Silicon Valley”

Bravo's "Start-ups: Silicon Valley"

Bravo’s “Start-ups: Silicon Valley”


I thought I would look for some Asians on TV.  Searching through the iTunes Store, I got these two shows: “Silicon Valley” and “Start Ups: Silicon Valley”.  Granted HBO suggests that the tech world is only 1/5 Asian. (“Asian” refers to both people of East Asian and Indian descent.)  Ok, at least HBO gets it right that tech is still mostly male — but not 100 percent male!

I feel sorry for the guy from the Midwest or South who starts at his first day at MIT or any engineering school thinking that the class will be 4/5 white only to find that the he’s going to be competing with a bunch of people — stereotypically — known for being good at math.  UC Berkeley 2013’s class is only 24.8 percent white.

Freshman Class Profile – For The MIT Class of 2018 

US Citizens & Permanent Residents*
Number of US states represented: 49
American Indian/Alaskan Native  2%
Asian American 30%
Black/African American 11%
Hispanic/Latino 14%
Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander  1%
White/Caucasian 51%
No Response 1%
*Total exceeds 100% of class because U.S students may indicate more than one race/ethnicity.
International Citizens
Number of countries represented: 53

By then he should be not be surprised when two of the largest tech companies are, at least, 30 percent Asian.

Google Demographics

Google’s Employee Demographics by Gender and Ethnicity Source: Google and Mashable


Facebook Employee Demographics by Ethnicity

When things are this far off, I wonder if TV and studio executives are intentionally ignoring the diversity that exists in America.

ER Cast

Typical Cast of “ER”

Like with ER!!!!!!!!  UCSF Medical School‘s class breakdown is:

As of Fall 2013 • 632 enrolled students

Race/Ethnicity %
African American 11
American Indian/Native Alaskan 1
Asian 39
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 4
Hispanic 27
White 49

Total is greater than 100% because students can select multiple values for race/ethnicity

My complaint is not just due to the underrepresentation of Asians but of all people of color in tech.  After all, last year Apple bought HopStop, a website that provided the fastest way to get from A to B using mass transit, for an undisclosed amount.  HopStop was founded by Chinedu Echeruo, one of my former bosses, and he was black/Nigerian!

Chinedu Echeruo, founder of HopStop

Chinedu Echeruo, founder of HopStop

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