America’s Economic Competitiveness Depends on Minority Entrepreneurs

MBDA Underscores Economic Inclusion as Path to Bolster Regional Competitiveness

Alejandra Castillo - cropped“Pro-actively, the United States must build an inclusive innovation ecosystem of entrepreneurs that can navigate and excel along the parallel tracks of these two major shifts: new populations creating and leveraging IoT-driven industrial reinventions and those who can be critical supporters of global supply chains in an innovation-driven economy.”

Alejandra Castillo, National Director, Minority Business Development Agency | Aug. 8, 2016

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Workforce diversity could add $570 billion to the tech sector

Intel data report bolsters bottom line rationale for investing in employee diversity

Intel data report
Intel data report

Improving ethnic and gender diversity in the U.S. technology workforce represents a massive economic opportunity, one that could create $470 – $570 billion in new value for the tech industry, and could add 1.2–1.6% to national GDP.

Growth on this scale would have major implications for both the labor and consumer markets, supporting job creation and better products. And yet, the tech industry is not drawing upon the full pool of available talent.

While it is no secret that women and racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented at tech companies—by 19 percentage points for women compared to their presence in the US labor force; by 16–18 percentage points for Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans—it may come as a surprise to learn how little these figures have changed in the last 15 years.

For technical roles, female representation falls to 12 percent—far short of the proportion of women working in many other occupations traditionally viewed as male-dominated (to name a handful: oil drilling, metal forging, and investment management). Tech leaders recognize this gap and are investing to shrink it, yet racial and ethnic minority representation has only improved by 1–2 percentage points over fifteen years, and female representation has fallen by one percentage point.

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