The United States has designated today, January 21st, as a day to remember, honor, and reflect on the courageous and historic strides made by Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and the American Civil Rights movement. Although the changes in American law, workplaces, and society since Dr. King’s time have bent towards equality, there still exists great achievements to be made.
As the country takes this day to consider the generations of hardship, prejudice, accomplishment, and progress, we, Kipsu, choose to focus on one small, but pointed piece of this multifaceted puzzle - the current state of diversity in American technology companies.
The tech sphere in the United States represents 11.5 million jobs, $1.6 trillion in revenue, and one of the largest sectors of the American economy. The industry is a top-five economic contributor in 22 states and in the top 10 of 42 states. Beyond that, the average annual salary in the tech industry towers 107% higher than the average wage for all other industries - nearly $113,000 compared to the average $55,000.
Despite leading the nation in so many ways, tech continues to struggle with a widespread underrepresentation of people of color. People of minority descent represent nearly 40% of the U.S. population, yet only 17% of tech executives. Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population and over 14% of private sector employees, but less than 8% of tech employees.
While statistics can at times feel disassociating, we at Kipsu are keenly aware of the contributions each team member makes; the story each Kipsuvian brings to our own statistics. We have sought ways to be more than an open door policy, and we’ve dedicated resources to activating our team to be thoughtful and deliberative in our core values, recruitment, promotion structure, ongoing employee engagement, and the ways in which we represent those efforts. We, too, have strides to make. Today, we are filled with gratitude for the team we have, the team we have yet to become, and the work required to go beyond, together.