Silicon Valley’s “Invisible Workforce”

Report on Security Officers: African Americans, Latinos Dominate Silicon Valley’s “Invisible Workforce”

Diversity in Silicon Valley

Tech companies, like Apple and Google actually DO employ people of color. Their “diversity problem” is more than meets the eye.

Tech corporations employ an “invisible workforce” of Latino, Black, and immigrant workers: those who clean, guard, maintain, and cook on tech campuses every day, often for poverty-level wages and without benefits.

4 out of 10 security officers in Silicon Valley are African American or Latino, according to a report released Tuesday, August 26 by Working Partnerships USA, African Americans and Latinos make up a growing majority of the low-wage workers protecting, cleaning and maintaining these multi-million-dollar businesses.

According to “Tech’s Diversity Problem: More Than Meets the Eye,”  there is sharp contrast in the public’s perception of Silicon Valley and reality of its workforce where for every tech job created, four service workers are needed to support it. These contract workers are often excluded from tech’s enrollment numbers and rarely mentioned in public disclosure.

“The service workers who are a critical part of the industry’s business model deserve to make a living wage and share in the wealth and prosperity of the industry, just as the engineers and coders do,” said Derecka Mehrens, executive director of Working Partnerships USA, which examines diversity at Silicon Valley’s tech companies.

“These numbers represent real people: black and Hispanic workers who work hard but remain in poverty. Their jobs make this valley work. The people who protect and serve Silicon Valley’s new elite deserve dignity in their own occupations.”

Read coverage in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today about “Tech’s Diversity Problem: More Than Meets the Eye.”

Read the entire report here.

The study “Tech’s Diversity Problem: More Than Meets The Eye” reveals tech’s direct impact not only on its engineering workforce, but on the broader problems of inequality and working poverty in the region that so many tech superpowers call home.

In order to make Silicon Valley a valley of opportunity for everybody, we must start with improving standards for those on the bottom. Let’s work towards that vision with beginning to have a real conversation about what’s going in our community, not just what the major corporations want us to talk about.

Join us and stand with ALL tech workers by signing up to support the Tech Can Do Better campaign.

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