In the tech industry it’s become commonplace to blame the lack of diversity on a “pipeline problem” – the qualified talent from diverse backgrounds simply isn’t available.
But in lessons that may prove valuable for the ad industry, which is still very white and male, work is being done to explode the pipeline “myth” and examine other reasons for the lack of diversity.
- If companies believe only certain schools, programmes and other companies are producing the right talent, and those places are not themselves diverse, then the problem will be perpetuated, Courri Brady, director at diversity, equity and inclusion consulting firm Paradigm told Tech Crunch.
- A core problem with the pipeline rationale, believes Dr. Joy Lisi Rankin, a research lead for gender, race and power in artificial intelligence at the AI Now Institute, is that the focus is on individuals – “it’s about tracking people, not institutions and structures”, and this masks more fundamental inequalities in the United States, including access to education she says.
- Rankin says she wants the tech sector to stop relying on the pipeline argument, and start examining inequities, structural racism, misogyny and how micro-inequities can lead to macro-problems within the tech industry.
“I think this is a larger problem of education and perspective and how you can get to a point where you have an engineering degree or you get hired by a tech company and you’ve never had to think about race as a deeply rooted historical, structural problem.” Dr. Joy Lisi Rankin, a research lead for gender, race and power in artificial intelligence at the AI Now Institute.
Sourced from TechCrunch