Urban League: America needs tech diversity

A nationwide assessment of the digital economy has found that Blacks are overrepresented as tech consumers, but drastically underrepresented as tech employees, according to the 2018 “State of Black America,” the National Urban League’sannual publication.

This year’s report, “Save Our Cities: Powering the Digital Revolution,” set out to answer the question, “Are the new job, business and educational opportunities created by increased digitization of our world being equally shared?”

African-Americans make up less than 5 percent of the workforce at social media and technology companies, vs. more than 50 percent for whites. Less than 6 percent of total Black employment in 2017 was in the tech industry, vs. 8.5 percent for whites.

“Historically, while great industrial breakthroughs have profited our nation, African-Americans have often been exploited, rather than elevated by these advancements,” NUL President and CEO Marc H. Morial said.

“Fortunately, the digital revolution is still in its youth and ripe with potential for Black Americans. While it has positioned itself such that the barriers of entry are few and low, the findings of the National Urban League’s 2018 Digital Inclusion Index are unambiguous: we must separate the signal from the noise.”

The full report is available at www.StateOfBlackAmerica.com, a website that includes the commentary and analysis of more than 50 thought leaders in business, government, science and the arts.