Posted on March 20, 2013

Silicon Valley Tech Cos Are Desperately Trying to Conceal How Many Minorities They’ve Hired

Megan Rose Dickey, San Francisco Chronicle, March 19, 2013

Silicon Valley tech companies, including AppleGoogle, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft, seem to be actively trying to hide how many minorities work for them.

In a one-and-a-half year long investigation, CNNMoney probed 20 of the most influential technology companies in the U.S., CNNMoney’s Julianne Pepitone reports.

But in the end, they only received diversity information from five companies: Cisco, Dell, eBay, Ingram Micro, and Intel.

What they found: racial minorities and women are generally underrepresented in management roles. And those roles are typically dominated by white and Asian men.


In an attempt to get information from the remaining 17 companies, CNNMoney filed a Freedom of Information Act request. Their first request to the Equal Opportunity Commission was denied because it’s legally prohibited to release that diversity data.

So CNNMoney refiled the FOIA request to the Department of Labor. About a year later, CNNMoney received the information, but only for five companies: Cisco, Dell, eBay, Ingram Micro, and Intel.

That’s because the Labor Department can’t release that information for companies that are not federal contractors. That meant CNNMoney couldn’t access diversity data for AmazonFacebookGrouponHuluLinkedInLivingSocialNetflix, Twitter, Yelp, and Zynga.

And companies that are federal contractors are still able to block their data from being released. Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft all successfully petitioned the Department of Labor from releasing their data, saying that it would cause “competitive harm,” Pepitone writes.