Employment Discrimination in the Tech Industry

The employment rate in the computer science and engineering sectors is growing twice as fast as the national average.  Plus, the sheer number of industries and occupations associated with “high tech” is increasing, as traditional industries are being transformed by new technologies and the tech jobs required to support them.  The problem is – despite the rapid growth of tech opportunities – there has been a distinct lack of opportunities for women, workers over 40 and other groups.

The U.E. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) recently held a public meeting to address the lack of diversity among high tech workers.  As an attorney specializing in employment law, I am here to help tech workers address discrimination in the workplace.

The Diversity in High Tech Report examined the tech industry employment trends. Composed by the EEOC,  Section II of the Diversity in High Tech report “identified several concerning trends” in the technology  industry, including:

Ethnic and Racial Disparities. Compared to overall private industry employers, the high tech sector employed a larger share of Caucasian and Asian Americans men, and a smaller share of African-Americans and Hispanic females. Gender Disparities. According to the EEOC”s report, about 80 percent of all Executives in the high tech sector are man, and women make up only 20 percent of the Executives in the high tech industry.  Within the private sector high tech industry, 71 percent of Executive positions are held by men and only about 29 percent of the positions are held by women.    Compensation Disparities. In the high tech sector nationwide, Caucasians are represented at a higher rate in the Executive levels of employment, which typically encompasses the highest level jobs which pay the largest salaries in the organization.  Other ethnic and racial groups, such as African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans made up a significantly lower rate of Executives in the private sector high tech industry, and had a higher employment rate in the Professional jobs according to the EEOC’s report.

What is workplace discrimination?  It’s when one group is treated less favorably due to their race, color, age, sex, gender,  disability, religion, national or ethnic origin, or other characteristics that are included in anti-discrimination or human rights laws.  Discrimination can happen during the recruitment process, when an employer is promoting or dismissing employees, when an employer is providing (or denying) opportunities for professional enrichment, training opportunities, or during the compensation and benefit payment process which results in the payment of disparate wages or benefits.

If you have questions regarding discrimination in the tech industry or other employment law issues, contact Lajuana Ransaw today at lransaw@smithwelchlaw.com or 770-957-3937.


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