Back minority business to close diversity gap: Your Say

Back minority business to close diversity gap: Your Say

A USA TODAY/Stanford Diversity in Tech summit last week included Jesse Jackson and executives from Google and Facebook. Letters to the editor:

I am an African-American tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Tuloko, an Internet business. Our firm has been featured on CNN, recognized by Harvard Business School and invited to take part in business incubators (“Tech execs acknowledge diversity gap. So, what’s next?”).

Despite the accolades, we have to be creative in raising capital because the investor community and the major Silicon Valley firms haven’t strongly supported African-American founders. Black founders received only a small percentage of venture capital/angel funding in 2010, according to a CB Insights report.

Here’s an opportunity for Facebook, Google and Apple to manage or allocate money to a venture capital fund to specifically invest in women and minority-owned technology firms. Imagine if women and minority founders got the necessary capital and resources from investors to grow and expand their companies.

A minority tech founder will be more inclined to hire other women and minorities. Subsequently, they will exit their company, set up investment groups and help more underrepresented founders. This approach would change diversity in the tech industry.

Duane Johnson; Minneapolis

In reading your article “How to close the tech diversity gap,” I was surprised that it did not even make a passing reference to the disproportionately high percentage of Asian workers at several of the high-tech companies in the table that accompanied the article.

In the spirit of a fair and balanced presentation, it would have been instructional for the report to have researched what opportunities Asians have that the other minorities featured in the article do not have.

Robert Lee; Greensboro, Ga.

Comments from Facebook are edited for clarity and grammar:

Jesse Jackson should be given credit for getting the discussion about diversity in the tech workforce out in the open.

With that being said, he must know the problem lies with education, especially in public schools. Start from there with math and science. It’s not Google’s responsibility to make sure minorities get a better education from public institutions. In my opinion, it is parents’ responsibility to get their children prepared.

— Rick Yant

Congratulations to Google for deciding to recruit in non-traditional areas. When those efforts bear fruit, other tech companies will follow.

— Ed Montvidas

If more minorities want to work in technology, more have to pursue technical degrees. If minorities don’t have the required qualifications for the tech jobs, they can’t get the tech jobs.

— Jon Fye

Many people are missing the main point: It’s not about being qualified. Even if minority candidates are, they’re not getting the opportunities.

— Patricia McCants