Building a More Inclusive Tech Workforce
Over the past decade, New York City has become a leading global tech hub. The City’s tech ecosystem is now the second largest in the country, second only to Silicon Valley, and is a major engine of regional economic growth. Despite this dynamism, New York City’s tech ecosystem workforce is not representative of our city’s diversity. Black and Latinx New Yorkers and women are severely underrepresented among the tech workforce, particularly for tech jobs within tech sectors, where, as of 2018, only 17% of workers are Black or Latinx and only 23% are women – compared to 37% and 50% across the city’s overall workforce, respectively.
The COVID-19 pandemic and recent Black Lives Matter protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others have demonstrated the dire need to confront systemic racial disparities across the country. The lack of diversity in tech reflects hiring and training practices and deeper failures in career education that are rooted in structural racism and that employers and policymakers have an integral role in addressing. As tech plays an increasingly central role in economic, social, and civic life – particularly with the acceleration of digital and remote work – there is an urgent and critical need not only for today’s workforce to be equipped with tech skills, but also for historically underrepresented groups to take ownership of the creation and management of technology.
This report examines the scale and causes of underrepresentation in tech, identifies promising job pathways, and seeks to elevate strategies to create a more inclusive tech workforce. Prepared by HR&A Advisors in partnership with Jobs for the Future and LaGuardia Community College, this report is part of a broader effort by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to study Workforce Development Planning for 21st Century Jobs.
Download the full report here.
For more information, please reach out to HR&A Partner Kate Wittels.