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Tech Industry is Leaving Behind Women of Color, Report Shows

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Women earn 21% of all doctorates in computing, but less than 5% are awarded to women of color.

Women of color make up 80 percent of all new women-led small businesses in the United States. In tech, however, that figure plummets to 4 percent, according to "Women and Girls of Color in Computing," a new study from the Kapor Center, Pivotal Ventures, and Arizona State University's Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology.

Low numbers of women of color can also mean missed economic opportunity for a chunk of the population that's projected to make up the majority of women by 2060. Tech and IT jobs are some of the fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs out there.

"Without identifying and understanding the specific challenges facing women of color in the computing and technology pipeline, any interventions made will be exclusionary, insufficient, and ineffective," the report says.

The study also shows how Silicon Valley differs from the wider tech industry across the United States. For example, 12 percent of women who work in computing and information science occupations across the U.S. are black or Hispanic. Meanwhile in Silicon Valley, only 2 percent of women working in tech are black, Hispanic, Native American, or Native Alaskan.

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