Latinos in Tech

Techqueria: Latinos in Tech 

In 2014 Google released a racial and gender breakdown of their workforce. In that report they found that of the 50,000 employees, “83% were men, 60% were white, and 30% were Asian. Just 2.9% were Latino, and 1.9% Black.” Since then, Google’s workforce has multiplied, but this does not include their racial makeup. In their 2021 Diversity Annual Report, they found their workforce population: 44.5% White, 42% asian, 8.8% black, 8.8% Latino, and 0.7% Native American. 

 

Source: LatinoCF.org.

 

The cause behind this racial disparity in tech is often associated with the belief that BIPOC have less access to proper education, but venture capitalists like Freada Kapor Klein argue that the issues lie in lack of support and networking. Kapor is a longtime advocate of increasing diversity in tech, and comments that the tech industry has a heavy reliance on personal relationships in order to access certain opportunities- networking. In many cases this could mean requiring referrals from current employees. Bari Williams, the head of legal at Human Interest (a financial services startup) explains the issue of strong interpersonal relationships best, “Who do you typically refer? People that look and act and dress and speak and do the same things that you do.”

 

Source: Latinasinbusiness.us.

 

As a result of the large gap of Latinx professionals in tech, one organization named Techqueria was created to help provide the resources and support. This organization features +16,000 members and allies in their network, most of which have work experience in PDE (Product, Design, and Engineering). Despite being an organization focused on promoting careers in tech, they offer numerous resources on healthcare, housing, immigration, and more. 

 

 

Techqueria has a strict No Tech for ICE policy where they will not partner with companies that are known to work with or support ICE. Partnering with tech companies is a way that Techqueria is able to generate revenue as a nonprofit, however they are very serious about who they partner with. “Leaders of tech companies NEED to recognize there are consequences when they make these kinds of deals. We want to send a clear message that this is not okay.” They provide useful information on tech companies that continue to work/support ICE, and direct support to Mijente, the founders of the campaign #NoTechForICE.

 

Source: Google 2021 Diversity Annual Report.

 

It is important for companies to have a workforce that reflects their customers. On the podcast Decoded, developer and the founder of Techqueria, David Silva stated, “If you don’t have people that are part of this community, if you don’t interview them, if you don’t have them in your boardrooms, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. You’re going to hurt your bottom line if you don’t bring more people to your company. You’re going to miss out on fantastic ideas. You’re going to miss out on markets you don’t understand.”

 


Flor Chavez Barriga | Oglethorpe University

Flor Chavez Barriga is an undergraduate student at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA studying History and Sociology with a focus on research. She was born in Michoacan, Mexico, and grew up in Atlanta surrounded by the rich history of Martin Luther King’s legacy. She previously attended Freedom University where she was given the opportunity to achieve higher education, while also learning about collective action and human rights. Flor is passionate about the south’s reaction to immigration with its restrictive policies and infamous detention centers. She hopes to highlight the voices of communities in the south that have helped combat all the hurdles that continue making immigrant lives harder.