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Minorities, Women ­nderrepresented in It

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Just 6.1 percent of men and 8.2 percent of women holding technical positions in Silicon Valley are minorities, with less than 2 percent of women of color holding high-level technical positions, according to "Obstacles and Solutions for Underrepresented Minorities in Technology," a new report from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI). The report examines the hurdles faced by minorities and provides recommendations on how companies can help them hold more prominent positions in the technology industry.

The level of underrepresentation of minorities in technical positions "is likely to limit companies' ability to innovate and create new products for a significant portion of the user population," says ABI's Caroline Simard, author of the report. "Such low numbers suggest that underrepresented employees are likely to suffer from significant isolation and a lack of access to mentors." The study found that more than 40 percent of underrepresented minority employees plan to leave their job, and 51 percent of women of color plan on leaving within the next 12 months.

Simard says diverse teams make better decisions and are more innovative, and a lack of diversity is hurting the U.S.'s competitiveness in science and technology.

From Information Week
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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