I feel the need to start this piece with a disclaimer: Racial bias and gender bias are two completely different issues. Both women and people of color, however, face stereotypes and suffer from wage discrimination. And though the battles are different, some of the tools used in the fight are the same.
While both women in fintech and ethnic diversity in fintech efforts have been around for half a decade, the women in fintech crusade has managed to gain a fair amount of momentum. There are now hundreds of passionate activists that promote women in fintech.
Even though the tech industry as a whole has a long way to go to achieve gender equality, the truth is that we have even further to go until we reach parity for black and brown workers. The following graph from Information is Beautiful shows the employee breakdown by ethnicity and gender at top tech companies in 2017.
The message is that the technology community has a lot of work to do. Each of us– not only as companies, but also as individuals– has a responsibility to take concrete action to help elevate ethnic diversity within our industry.
The movement to promote women has already begun to successfully create change and growth in the fintech industry. Here are a few things that are working for gender diversity that we can use to further promote ethnic diversity.
- Networking events
- Organized member associations
- School programs
While it can be difficult to know where to start, perhaps begin with a simple action such as re-tweeting following more black and brown voices on social media to hear perspectives you might not otherwise hear. You can also become a member of an existing organization, such as Blacks in Technology, or simply donate to the cause. Small actions will add up and change begins with individuals.