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BLACKS, LATINOS, WOMEN, (and whites) lose ground at Silicon Valley Tech Companies
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February 18, 2010, 08:54 PM
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According to the headline on a Mercury News article by Mike Swift, Blacks, Latinos and women are falling behind the employment curve at Silicon Valley tech companies.[Blacks, Latinos and women lose ground at Silicon Valley tech companies,By Mike Swift, [Email him] San Jose Mercury News, February 13, 2010]

Oh, and buried deep into the article you will discover that whites are losing also. It was almost mentioned as an afterthought. tsk! tsk!

According to Swift, the Mercury News did a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) to get the data for the article. The Mercury shares only a portion of the data, so readers are left to assume Swift is competent enough to analyze the data correctly. Bad assumption!

Upon close reading it`s not very obvious what kind of data the government gave the Mercury because high-tech employers refused to divulge their demographic data. These excerpts should raise a big red flag about the credibility of the data:

Cisco declined to released its most recent race data in detail
"Most recent" is a major understatement, but it gets worse:
Following an appeals process that stretched over nearly two years, five of those companies—Google, Apple, Yahoo, Oracle and Applied Materials—convinced federal officials to block public disclosure.
The data included on the sidebar of the article is mostly meaningless because it covers the boom in high-tech from 1999-2005 while ignoring the popping of the bubble after 2005. Nothing was provided about the rate of job loss versus race but the one thing that becomes obvious is that whites are not necessarily a majority at Silicon Valley companies. Companies such as Intel and Solectron actually have more Asians than whites. Most of the data seems to support a conclusion that minorities are over-represented in Silicon Valley. You have to wonder if Swift and his pals at the Mercury would complain about diversity problems if the companies were 100% Asian!

Actually Swift never explains what Asian is—a major blooper that could be considered racist by Asians. Since Swift didn`t bother to speculate on what Asian means, let me take a stab: most "Asians" in Silicon Valley are Indian followed a distant second by Chinese. I base that on the theory that the H-1B nonimmigrant guest worker program is largely responsible for the dramatic demographic changes taking place in Silicon Valley (not counting illegal immigration of Hispanics). Approximately 45% of all H-1B visa holders are from India followed by 10% from China (among computer/IT related H-1Bs the Chinese are losing ground to those from India). For more info read: "On the Need For Reform of the H-1B Visa" by Dr. Norman Matloff .

Swift begins by writing that Silicon Valley is not diverse enough—which is the only accurate statement in the article, but not for the reason he thinks. The truth about Silicon Valley is that the area has been flooded with H-1Bs for such a long time there has been an ethnic cleansing of anyone that isn`t Indian or Chinese. Most people who live there tell me that their neighborhoods look like New Delhi and Hong Kong, or even Tijuana.

Hispanics and blacks made up a smaller share of the valley`s computer workers in 2008 than they did in 2000, a Mercury News review of federal data shows, even as their share grew across the nation. Women in computer-related occupations saw declines around the country, but they are an even smaller proportion of the work force here.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention what Swift wrote about white folks—because it`s so easy to miss.
With the number of white computer workers also dropping after 2000, Asians were the exception. They now make up a majority of workers in computer-related occupations who live in Silicon Valley, although they hold only about one in six of the nation`s computer-related jobs.
Swift managed to produce numerical statistics for all the racial groups in question except for whites. That omission is probably to hide the inconvenient truth that whites are doing as bad or worse than non-Asian minority groups. Of course it`s anybody`s guess what is happening in relative terms since Swift never shows whether whites are gaining or losing ground compared to the other racial groups.

One thing for sure, Swift ignored his own data! The sidebar data shows that in 2005 whites were 44% of the employees in the ten high-tech companies surveyed, but combined Asian, Hispanic, and blacks were 56% of the workforce. There must be truth to the rumors that the education system in California is broken if writers and editors in one of the state`s major newspapers thinks that 44% is more than 56%!

One more thing about that data—between 1999-2005 whites lost 1% of their share of the techie population since 1999 and so did blacks, but blacks went from only 3% to 2% of the techie population in 1995 so they lost proportionally more. Hispanics didn`t fare much better as they went from 7% to 5%. Listed in order below is the groups that are getting clobbered the worst by the importation of Asian H-1Bs:

  1. Blacks -33%
  2. Hispanics -28%
  3. Whites -2%
  4. Asians +8%
Of course my calculations are based on the flawed and limited data provided by the Mercury, and it only includes the boom times. I decided not to consider females because their racial breakdown wasn`t provided, which probably skews the data. My guess is that since 2005 the percentage of Asians has gone up even as total employment goes down. One thing for sure is that things have only gotten worse since 2005, and as companies struggle to cut costs they tend to favor the importation of cheaper foreign labor.

Swift makes a lame attempt to explain why Silicon Valley lacks diversity. He quoted a Cisco diversity expert as follows:

Silicon Valley lags the nation in hiring—and perhaps in retention—of African-Americans and Latinos are varied and complex, researchers and observers say.
So, just what is so complex about African-Americans and Latinos compared to whites, and why are Hispanics and Latinos lumped into the same category? From the slant of the article it would be easy to conclude that whites are easy to figure out because they are merely racists and sexists who won`t hire women, African-Americans, and Latinos. Whites, which the data illustrates, are the majority race when it comes to corporate management, don`t seem to hesitate when hiring Indians or Chinese so it seems that the behavior of whites is far more complicated than Swift realizes.

Theories are fabricated to explain why whites are being pushed out of Silicon Valley. The education button is pushed in order to explain that there aren`t enough Americans that are educated in high-tech, and notice the subtle implication that Americans just don`t cut-the-mustard compared to hard working foreigners. One of my favorites is used—Americans aren`t able to hit-the-road-running fast enough for fast-paced global corporations. The one thing Swift is good at is the way he can hurl so many insults at Americans in so few words.

Other reasons, experts say, include a history of valley companies hiring well-trained tech workers from the Pacific Rim, a weak pipeline of homegrown candidates, and a hypercompetitive business environment that leaves little time to develop workers.
The next paragraph answers why the demographics are changing, but it doesn`t seem like Swift understood his own message. This next one might be the best blooper of them all:
Aristotle Saunders, a 32-year-old Marvell engineer, volunteers with school kids in Oakland, dissecting iPods to interest them in a tech career. He thinks the lack of visible middle-class minority neighborhoods in Silicon Valley makes it even tougher to recruit minorities to tech jobs here.
Since women are considered minorities does that mean that Silicon Valley neighborhoods don`t have enough women? Could it be that Swift is confusing Silicon Valley and San Francisco when it comes to the percentage of males?

When I was a kid all of us boys replaced vacuum tubes on TVs. Dissecting iPods is sissy stuff in comparison because tubes were powered with hundreds of volts of electricity. We even had to walk ten or twenty miles in the snow to test the tubes at the local 7-11 or Circle K store, and we had to be able to read those big cross reference manuals. It was a high risk activity because putting one of those multi-pinned tubes in the wrong socket could cause a fireball with smoke clouds. We even got training on time management because every minute the TV didn`t work was another minute we couldn`t watch Superman or the Twilight Zone. My theory is that girls didn`t get into engineering because the boys are the ones that did the TV tubes. One thing for sure is that we learned a lot more than the kids nowadays that educate themselves by unscrewing something from a cell phone and sending brainless text messages.

Meg Whitman gets the top shill honors for this shameful historical breach of truth. One of the few female high-tech CEOs should know better than to try something like this! How much you want to bet that Meg never changed a vacuum tube when she was a girl?

At a time when eBay was headed by one of the few high-profile female CEOs in Silicon Valley, Meg Whitman, the share of the company`s managers and top officials who were female declined to 30 percent in 2005, from 36 percent five years earlier, according to federal employment data.

"No global company today can stay competitive without persistently recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse work force "... eBay believes workforce diversity is critical to achieving our growth objectives and serving our millions of customers globally," the company said in a statement.

The evidence shows just the opposite: as high-tech companies in Silicon Valley became more diverse the high-tech industries that once dominated the area have been in a steady downward spiral. That entire area has been transformed from a shining star on the planet Earth, admired by diverse populations around the world who wanted to emulate its success, to a sad example of economic distress, blight, and Balkanization. Silicon Valley was built by the blood and sweat of hard working Americans who were mostly Caucasians with the brains and intellect to invent an entirely new economy. Ironically the Silicon Valley dream is being destroyed by stupid white people that want more diversity and by smart Asians that want to rule the world.

Is it possible that Swift couldn`t connect the obvious dots together when he was writing the article, or was he blinded by shills? The answer to that question becomes obvious towards the end of the article when the Indian supremacist Vivek Wadhwa was quoted. Many people nickname him "Professor Fraudhwa" for a good reason and it looks like he got another notch on his belt by fooling a major newspaper! Actually Swift got double teamed because he also talked one of the queens of shortage shouting: AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the school of [mis]-information at UC-Berkeley.