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Melinda Gates' New Research Reveals Alarming Diversity Numbers


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Melinda Gates

"Women earn only 19 percent of computing degrees, and . . . the trends are actually going in the wrong direction," Melinda Gates says.

Executives at tech companies say gender diversity matters. But in reality they spend very little of their philanthropic dollars attempting to close the gender and race gap, according to new research by Melinda Gates in partnership with McKinsey & Company.

Last year, according to the report, only 5 percent of companies' philanthropic giving went to programs that focused explicitly on women and girls in tech. And less than 0.1 percent of their grants went to programming for women of color—a group whose representation in tech is getting worse.

Entitled "Reboot Representation: Using CSR and Philanthropy to Close the Gender Gap in Tech," the report reviews how 32 large tech companies have worked internally to support women and close the gender gap. Taken together, these companies spent more than $500 million on philanthropy last year. Of that, $24 million went to support programming for women and girls and just $335,000 targeted at programs aimed at women of color.

The companies investigated found that last figure so alarming that twelve of the 32 participants are taking immediate action. They're uniting to form the Reboot Recognition Tech Coalition, a joint effort by companies to close the gender gap for women of color in tech.

The research forms a playbook for companies interested in promoting and supporting gender diversity more effectively.

From Wired
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