Racial Diversity in Tech

Explore and visualize a one-of-a-kind dataset on diversity in the Tech World



This Silk aggregates multiple resources on diversity in tech. You can interactively explore statistics on different facets of the issue. To build this unique dataset, we collected and normalized data from:

  • Workforce Diversity Reports published by 11 major tech firms. (Apple, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Google, HP, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo)

  • Richard Kerby's data on the number of Black investors in 235 major VC firms. Based on the article published on Tech Crunch. (note: he includes only full-time investment team members).

  • CrunchBase data on these 235 VC firms

  • LinkedIn data education and gender of the Black investors of these  235 firms

White Employees Occupy 71% of Leadership Roles in Tech Giants

Aggregated workforce diversity reports of 11 tech companies reveal that white people cover, on average, 71% of the leadership roles. Asians follow, occupying on average 21% of these top positions. But only 2% of the leaders in these major tech companies are Black/African-Americans. HP, Yahoo and Intel are the most white-dominated corporations. Here 75-80% of the leadership is Caucasian. Cisco has the lowest percentage of white leadership. Yet, it is still 62%.

Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of Leadership roles in major tech companies

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African Americans and Latinos are 4-5% of Tech Workforce

Tech jobs are where the ratio of white employees is the lowest, on average 51%. But this doesn't necessarily mean equal diversity. Most of these jobs are taken by Asians, which can represent up to 60% of the tech workforce, like in the case of LinkedIn. Black and Hispanics are still only on average 4% and  5% of tech employees. HP is the company with the highest percentage of Black tech workforce (15%). And Intel ranks first for number of Hispanic techies (16%).

Workforce Diversity in Tech Companies

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African-Americans Estimated at 1.5% Investors of Major VC Firms

African-Americans are only 4% of the total workforce, according to diversity reports published by tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple. Additionally, they occupy:
  • 5% of the non-tech roles
  • 4% of the tech roles
  • 2% of the leadership roles
The stats for Black tech entrepreneurs are along these lines. Richard Kirby scrutinized 235 venture capital companies. He looked at the race of their 1823 full-time investors. And only 18 (1.5%) are Black. Of these 235 firms, only 22 (9%) have at least one Black investor.  

Number of Venture Capital Firms and Number of Black Investors

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Only 2% of Major VC Firms Have More than One Black Investor

Only five of the 235 companies have more than one African-American investor. And they're all relatively small ones.

Top 5 Venture Capital Firms for number of Black Investors

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Firms with More Black Investors are Smaller and with Fewer Funds

Smaller companies are more likely to have higher percentages of black investors. All the companies with more than 11% African-American investors have 8 or less full-time investors.

Percentage of Black Investors and # of Investors of Venture Capital Firms pages

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Additionally, VC firms with bigger funds are more likely dominated by non-black investors. The companies with the highest percentage of Black investors all have raised funds for less than $0.7 million. (Fund data comes from Richard Kerby's article, or from CrunchBase when it was missing. Note that it is available for only 186 companies).

Percentage of Black Investors and Funds Raised of Venture Capital Firms pages

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Harvard and Stanford Top Universities for Black Investors

The 27 African-American entrepreneurs come from top universities, mostly located on the East Coast 

Black Investor mapped by University

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More than a fourth of these Black investors has studied at Harvard. Stanford is the second most common university.

Number of Black Investors per University

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Out of 1823 investors, Only One African-American Woman

Race isn't the only issue among VC investors. Women are also poorly represented. But what are the chances of finding a Black women as a full-time investor in a major VC? Much less than one in a million. About 0.05%, to be precise, according to Richard Kerby's dataset. 

Of the 1823 investors in 235 firms, the only woman is Lisa Lambert, at Intel Capital. Needless to say, she is the Vice President and Managing Director of Intel's Diversity Equity Fund.

Interactive Grid of all 27 Black Investors

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The Silk team built this as a demonstration project. You can contact us at feedback@silk.co.