Obama calls for more diversity in tech industry
At the first ever White House Demo Day, tech industry innovators gathered to showcase their products and visions for the future. The Obama administration has called for explicitly extending reach and opportunity to women, minorities, and those outside of urban centers.
Obama says, "We've got to make sure that everybody is getting a fair shot. The next Steve Jobs might be named Stephanie or Esteban. They might never set foot in Silicon Valley. We've got to unleash the full potential of every American -- not leave more than half the team on the bench."
Image: Gigaom / Biz Carson
The White House Demo Day brought together representatives from tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Xerox. Many companies are already making headway in extending their reach. IBM is partnering with Girls Who Code to get more women in top-level positions, and Intel is pledging $5 million in collaboration to Georgia Tech to recruit a more diverse body of candidates.
In conjunction with the Demo Day, the administration has created the JOBS act, which seeks to ease crowdfunding restrictions and the open internet order.
Facts about tech industry demographics:
Many tech companies have a majority of White and Asian workers. Facebook's labor force is comprised of just 4% Hispanic and 2% black employees.
In a Fortune survey of 14 tech companies, Pandora has the highest gender balance with 49% of workers identifying as female, whereas Intel has the lowest with just 23%.
In the 2012-2013 year, just 14.5% of computer science bachelor degrees were awarded to women.
Cover image: Wikimedia Commons