A new initiative has taken birth in Silicon Valley, tech center of America, working to patch the diversity divide. Project Include wants more women and minority groups in the high tech industry that fuels the U.S. economy.

Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao and bethanye McKinney Blount are co-founders of Project Include. They and their team see a problem with the numbers. Right now, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, executives in high tech are 80 percent men and only 20 percent are women. Of overall high tech employees, 64 percent are men and 36 percent are women. Both are wider gender gaps compared to the overall private industry.

There is also diversity gap where only 7.3 percent of employees are African American and only 8.0 percent are Hispanic. Smaller numbers than the overall private industry and national demography.

Part of the problem is the pipeline from STEM (science technology engineering mathematics) education to jobs. According to a 2015 report from the National Science Foundation, in 2012 women received just 18.2 percent of computer science degrees and 19.2 percent of engineering degrees. However, a even bigger problem exists.

“Retention of employees is huge, helping support people as their careers develop is huge,” Blount says. “And the fact that women and other underrepresented groups are shoved out of technology companies, functionally, in their careers. There’s this giant drop off where women, in particular, leave.”

Center for Work-Life Policy’s data shows that although 74 percent of women in technology companies “love their work,” 56 percent leave during what should be the middle of their careers. Of those who leave, 38 percent left due to a “hostile macho culture,” when many still working reported feeling stalled or left without a clear career path.

According to Pao, this divide doesn’t make business sense.

“Diversity brings out much better results. We’ve seen McKinsey reports that show that companies that have diversity around gender and race have a 35 percent likelihood of better financial performance than average and we’ve also seen that it brings out better ideas.”

Check out Fernando’s interview with Pao and Blount to find out more on how they are working with Silicon Valley companies to show how those organizations can make immediate diversity decisions, and how it could improve their business.

Show More

Related Videos

  • Miami: A Tale of Two Cities

    January 20, 2018

    Miami: A Tale of Two Cities

    January 20, 2018

    Miami, Florida is one of the nation’s largest global financial hubs and has recently exper...

    Watch now
  • Diversity Educator: Racism is Worse Today Than it was 50 Years Ago

    January 6, 2018

    Diversity Educator: Racism is Worse Today Than it was 50 Years Ago

    January 6, 2018

    This April marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis...

    Watch now
  • Searching For A Better Life in America

    June 17, 2017

    Searching For A Better Life in America

    June 17, 2017

    Clarkston, GA is a small town of just 1.1 square miles outside of Atlanta and is one of th...

    Watch now
  • American demographic shifts will continue to affect elections

    December 22, 2015

    American demographic shifts will continue to affect elections

    December 22, 2015

    As higher percentages of Asians, Hispanics and African-Americans vote, just how rapidly wi...

    Watch now
  • Reps. on Infrastructure: We're Getting By On Duct Tape

    February 3, 2018

    Reps. on Infrastructure: We're Getting By On Duct Tape

    February 3, 2018

    Over 54,000 of bridges in the U.S. are considered “structurally deficient” according to da...

    Watch now
  • Kansas High Schoolers Say Poverty is Their Biggest Challenge

    January 29, 2018

    Kansas High Schoolers Say Poverty is Their Biggest Challenge

    January 29, 2018

    In 1954, Topeka, Kansas was the center of the debate over school segregation during the la...

    Watch now
  • Is Social Media Good for Democracy?

    January 27, 2018

    Is Social Media Good for Democracy?

    January 27, 2018

    Facebook is taking a hard look at the impact it has on the democratic process after announ...

    Watch now
  • A Year After Voting for President Trump

    January 20, 2018

    A Year After Voting for President Trump

    January 20, 2018

    Lebanon, Kansas is the geographical center of the continental U.S. It’s a small town of ju...

    Watch now

Latest

  • Charlize Theron: I’m Proud to Be A F*cking Feminist

    February 17, 2018

    Charlize Theron: I’m Proud to Be A F*cking Feminist

    February 17, 2018

    In honor Nelson Mandela’s centenary, his grandson Kweku Mandela and Charlize The...

    Watch now
  • Kweku Mandela, Charlize Theron talk Nelson Mandela’s Legacy, Feminism and Social Justice

    February 17, 2018

    Kweku Mandela, Charlize Theron talk Nelson Mandela’s Legacy, Feminism and Social Justice

    February 17, 2018

    Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter and the first democratically elected president o...

    Watch now
  • Charlize Theron on Mandela’s influence on Africa Outreach Program and The Power of Youth

    February 17, 2018

    Charlize Theron on Mandela’s influence on Africa Outreach Program and The Power of Youth

    February 17, 2018

    In honor Nelson Mandela’s centenary, his grandson Kweku Mandela and Charlize The...

    Watch now
  • Teens Running for Governor: We’re Providing Voters with A Choice

    February 17, 2018

    Teens Running for Governor: We’re Providing Voters with A Choice

    February 17, 2018

    Kansas teens are running for office, hoping to provide voters with choices they ...

    Watch now
  • Do Unions Fees Violate Your First Amendment Rights?

    February 17, 2018

    Do Unions Fees Violate Your First Amendment Rights?

    February 17, 2018

    One government worker’s $45 non-member union fee could result in the loss of mil...

    Watch now
  • Local Elections Director: Expect Cyber Incidents in the 2018 Midterms

    February 10, 2018

    Local Elections Director: Expect Cyber Incidents in the 2018 Midterms

    February 10, 2018

    Russian hackers “successfully penetrated” some state voter rolls in 2016, the De...

    Watch now
  • Does Iowa Have the Right Model to Get Rid of Gerrymandering?

    February 10, 2018

    Does Iowa Have the Right Model to Get Rid of Gerrymandering?

    February 10, 2018

    Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have until Feb. 15 to redraw their district maps ahead...

    Watch now
  • Dr. Fauci: A Universal Flu Vaccine is Possible

    February 10, 2018

    Dr. Fauci: A Universal Flu Vaccine is Possible

    February 10, 2018

    The Centers for Disease Control now report that a total of 63 children have died...

    Watch now
  • Jack Daniel’s “Re-Righting” Its History

    February 3, 2018

    Jack Daniel’s “Re-Righting” Its History

    February 3, 2018

    You don’t know Jack. Jack Daniel, that is. Legend has it a preacher who was also...

    Watch now
  • Kansas High Schoolers Say Poverty is Their Biggest Challenge

    January 29, 2018

    Kansas High Schoolers Say Poverty is Their Biggest Challenge

    January 29, 2018

    In 1954, Topeka, Kansas was the center of the debate over school segregation dur...

    Watch now
  • A Year After Voting for President Trump

    January 20, 2018

    A Year After Voting for President Trump

    January 20, 2018

    Lebanon, Kansas is the geographical center of the continental U.S. It’s a small ...

    Watch now
  • Different Sides of the Road on Year One for President Trump

    January 20, 2018

    Different Sides of the Road on Year One for President Trump

    January 20, 2018

    There’s a stretch of highway near President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Be...

    Watch now
  • Diversity Educator: Racism is Worse Today Than it was 50 Years Ago

    January 6, 2018

    Diversity Educator: Racism is Worse Today Than it was 50 Years Ago

    January 6, 2018

    This April marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination ...

    Watch now
  • Ex-Felons Call Voter Limitations in AL a Modern Day Poll Tax

    December 9, 2017

    Ex-Felons Call Voter Limitations in AL a Modern Day Poll Tax

    December 9, 2017

    Nearly a quarter million of Alabama’s 5 million residents are unable to vote in ...

    Watch now
  • Lawyers Working Pro-Bono to Help Children Obtain Legal Status

    December 2, 2017

    Lawyers Working Pro-Bono to Help Children Obtain Legal Status

    December 2, 2017

    Thousands of unaccompanied children are apprehended at the U.S. border each year...

    Watch now
  • Improving Grades with Free Lunch for All

    November 25, 2017

    Improving Grades with Free Lunch for All

    November 25, 2017

    Nearly 13 million American children don’t know where they’ll get their next meal...

    Watch now
  • February 10, 2018

    February 17, 2018

    February 10, 2018

    February 17, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, how do you keep gerrymandering from happening acros...

    Watch now
  • February 3, 2018

    February 10, 2018

    February 3, 2018

    February 10, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, Soledad O'Brien sits down with Rep. Elizabeth ...

    Watch now
  • January 27, 2018

    February 3, 2018

    January 27, 2018

    February 3, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, Soledad O'Brien goes to Capitol to talk with Arizon...

    Watch now
  • January 20, 2018

    January 27, 2018

    January 20, 2018

    January 27, 2018

    Soledad O'Brien takes Matter of Fact to Miami, FL this week. It is one of the na...

    Watch now
  • January 13, 2018

    January 20, 2018

    January 13, 2018

    January 20, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, a frank conversation with the chair of the Democrat...

    Watch now
  • January 6, 2018

    January 13, 2018

    January 6, 2018

    January 13, 2018

    Does American politics have you praying for some divine intervention? U. S....

    Watch now
  • December 16, 2017

    December 23, 2017

    December 16, 2017

    December 23, 2017

    This week, Soledad O'Brien takes a look at the nearly nine million children...

    Watch now
  • December 9, 2017

    December 16, 2017

    December 9, 2017

    December 16, 2017

    This week on Matter of Fact, Soledad O'Brien checks in the University of Alabama...

    Watch now