Posted on August 29, 2019

Silicon Valley Hires the ‘Whitest Black Candidates’

Daily Mail, August 27, 2109

An engineer who currently works for Google has claimed in a podcast interview that the company hires the ‘whitest black candidates’.

Mobile-app developer, Bria Sullivan, spoke to Moguldom about working at Google and other tech companies.

Podcast host, Jamarlin Martin, brought up the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving Facebook and how the social network was attacked by the Congressional Black Caucus which called out the company’s diversity problem.

Martin spoke about how Sheryl Sandberg met with the caucus to find solutions to their diversity problems and at one point told reporters that the company would be bringing an African-American to the board.

Facebook later hired Kenneth Chenault, a former CEO of AmEx.

Both Martin and Sullivan then voiced their beliefs that Silicon Valley has a ‘Clarence Thomas’ problem, meaning that the Supreme Court Justice would be ‘to the right of a lot of white racists’.

Sullivan then responds: ‘I think a lot of the decisions made in Silicon Valley are cop-outs. I feel like they’re patches to a real solution.’

‘It’s like “look at our residential black”,’ Sullivan said, adding that she has a problem with Silicon Valley hiring ‘the whitest black candidates’.

‘They hire someone who’s exactly like them, but black.’

Sullivan said that she believes Silicon Valley companies ‘hire someone that meets exactly their qualifications and I feel like this is a problem’.

‘And when I was saying there’s like a hiring problem, a lot of what people are asking for is they don’t realize that they’re asking for a white person, they’re not specifically doing that, but only for the most part, mostly white people will qualify for the criteria that they give, and they might find a black person that does, and it might end probably not going to be the type of black person that is actually going to do the thing that we want because it’s what they want.

‘They didn’t change anything about what they were looking for. And we absolutely do have that problem,’ she continued.

But Sullivan said she hopes to change the way Google hires employees.

‘I have a course right now for non-technical startup founders to help them hire technical talent better,’ she said, adding that she’s also helping them navigate ‘the tech space because they don’t have that technical knowledge’.

Before being hired by Google, Sullivan worked at Microsoft.

She claimed that Microsoft had ‘racial and gender microaggressions all the time’.

Sullivan said one ‘microaggression’ occurred when she had welcome boxes made for the African-American interns at Microsoft.

A lead manager asked her: ‘What are you doing for the white interns?’

Sullivan said he ‘just didn’t understand why employee resource groups exist or why they help people’.