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What Silicon Valley still doesn’t understand about its diversity problem

While recent conversations around racial equality in the U.S. have been somewhat of a wake-up call for employers to look inward, tech giants face even more scrutiny for lagging behind others on diversity and inclusion even as they wield more power.

Only 1.7% of Facebook’s (FB) technical roles are held by Black employees, according to its own diversity report. At Google (GOOG, GOOGL), which employs some 119,000 workers, a mere 3.7% are Black. Apple (AAPL) hasn’t published a fresh report since 2018, when it disclosed that 6% of its tech jobs went to Black professionals.

So what’s Silicon Valley getting wrong on diversity? “What the tech industry and many large employers have gotten wrong is focusing too much on quarter-to-quarter hiring numbers,” says Michael Ellison, co-founder and CEO of CodePath, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides free support, mentorship, and career coaching for computer science college students throughout the U.S.

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Black, female entrepreneurs are changing Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO – In the early days of Zume Pizza, visitors to Julia Collins’ robotic food prep company in Silicon Valley would greet her at the door and say, “Can you grab me a water? I’m here to meet with the founder.” When pitching her business to investment partners at venture capital firms, Collins was nearly always the only woman and always the only black person in the room.

Then, late last year, a hairline crack surfaced in the invisible yet seemingly impenetrable barrier that limits black women’s access to the tech world. A $375 million investment gave Zume Pizza a valuation of $2.25 billion.

It wasn’t just the company she co-founded that reached unicorn status. Collins did, too, as the first black woman whose tech company is valued at $1 billion or more by investors. Now that she’s working on a new startup in regenerative agriculture, investors are calling

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