Tech Diversity, Yes Let’s Look at the Real Issue

Mitch Kapor says we should looks beyond the kerfuffle between Arrington and CNN, and yes let’s do that.

I wrote this 2 years ago and nothing has changed:

Why does this matter, especially coming from someone like me who has a gag reflex about the words “affirmative action” and repulsion at the idea that we, as a society, condone hiring or admittance, and promotion based on anything other than merit? It matters because we are not an economy that searches out natural resources like iron ore, timber, coal or natural ports and waterways to determine where we expand; we are an economy that depends upon businesses identifying clusters of talented human resources to solve problems that have economic value. If our solution is that a bunch of white men, young and middle aged predominately, are going to solve the bulk of problems from here on out, then we will neither be very good at it on a global scale nor efficient as a society in lifting earning power and real economic growth across the board.

Silicon Valley is good at a lot of things but one thing we are terrible at is being self-critical about the culture we have created. Zuckerberg was getting to this with his much quoted comments about Silicon Valley being too short term focused (I wrote about that in 2009 as well, ironically the post also centered on TechCrunch).