This week, the tech world got some of that shiny and fabulous magical Black girl dust sprinkled on it when four Black women engineers took the stage as winners of the “Fastest Rising Startup Award” at Tech Crunch’s annual ceremony “The Crunchies” on behalf of instant messaging startup Slack. Upon accepting the award they said:
“The idea that diversity at companies improves the culture and the bottom line may be somewhat controversial, but all we know is we’ve got 9 percent women of color engineering at Slack — four of whom are up here tonight, in ‘Formation.”
In related news this week, Digital Undivided released its new report #ProjectDiane which analyzes the the number of Black women-led tech start-ups in the U.S. which, suffice to say, isn’t nearly what it should or could be. According to the report, there are presently 88 tech companies that are headed up by Black women, representing less than 1% of the total number of start-ups led by women overall. Unsurprisingly even when counting in women in general, the startup industry continues to be dominated by majority white males, who have absorbed nearly 100% of all venture capital funding (97% to be exact).
Despite recent trends in a positive direction, the fact remains that women, especially Black women, continue to experience a stubborn glass ceiling in the tech/start-up industry. Like the luminary ladies of Slack said in their speech, it’s high time that we get in “formation” and start planning our takeover.