Monica Eaton-Cardone Advises Google and Other Major Corporations on Workforce Diversity
Demographic breakdowns of the tech industry fail to reflect the demographic breakdowns of America, despite the industry’s best efforts to fix the problem. Monica Eaton-Cardone notes that this problem is inherent in the way the industry operates, and suggests long-term solutions to fix it.
(Tampa Bay, FL) July 13, 2015—Despite efforts to promote diversity in the technology workforce, the industry largely remains dominated by a white male majority. The workforce at Google, Facebook and LinkedIn is 91% white and Asian, and 89% white and Asian at Yahoo. These four tech titans have a workforce of 3–4% Hispanic employees and 2% black employees. Between 60–70% of the employees at these companies are men, and 80% of leadership roles are occupied by men. (1) Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO of leading dispute mitigation and loss prevention firm Chargebacks911 (http://www.chargebacks911.com/), is a longtime advocate of diversity in the tech industry and advises that minority interest in working in the tech industry should be cultivated from inception in a bottom-up approach, rather than pushing a top-down approach and hiring by “filling quotas”.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had hopes for the company to reflect the diversity of its customers in the USA and around the world; however, the actual numbers don’t add up. Seven out of 10 employees are men, and 60% of Google’s nearly 56,000 employees are white. Of Google’s remaining employees, 31% are Asian, while African-Americans and Latinos fill out the rest of the workforce at a paltry 2% and 3%, respectively. (2) Google’s demographics do not reflect the demographics of America’s diverse population. According to a report from the U.S. census covering shifting demographic trends, 60% of the U.S. population is white, 17% is Hispanic, 14% is black and 6.5 is Asian. (3)
“If the tech industry is going to grow along with America, we need to create a workforce that reflects the demographics of America,” says Eaton-Cardone. “Diversity leads to a wide range of viewpoints, which leads to innovation. In order for the tech industry to fully succeed, we need to create an environment for the best talent to flourish.”
Since the lack of diversity in the tech industry is both inherent and unconscious, Eaton-Cardone proposes a fundamental change in the work environment in order to make it conducive to all people. “By encouraging talent, regardless of ethnic background or gender, we will see a more diverse workforce start to shape, but most importantly, it will be a strong and innovative workforce.”
Eaton-Cardone states that this change can be made in the following ways:
- Support Talent and Passion – Eaton-Cardone notes that it is talent and passion, rather than one's ethnic background or sex, that should lead to better wage earnings and advancement opportunities as tech companies are dependent on their ability to evolve and innovate. Supporting driven employees of diverse backgrounds will help fill the gap.
- Provide Role Models – Positive role models will help shape public image of diversity in the tech industry. “Often times, just having a strong role model will help someone in their decision making,” says Eaton-Cardone. “Having someone to look up to helps people say, “If they can do it, I can do it too.'”
- Create Educational Opportunities – Eaton-Cardone encourages creating educational opportunities for potential diverse candidates in order to encourage them to pursue an interest in the tech industry. Potential candidates will hone their interest into a skill set they can build upon.
- Give Encouragement – Employees of diverse backgrounds need to know that they are accepted and respected. Encouraging minority employees will go a long way, and will help inspire them to take up leadership roles.
- Set Up Mentoring Programs—Mentoring programs can help minority employees feel welcome within the company, in addition to helping them develop close working relationships with other employees.
As Eaton-Cardone is, herself, in the minority of women who holds an executive position in a technical field, she has been an advocate of long-term solutions for diversity in the tech industry. Eaton-Cardone founded Chargebacks911 to address an unmet need in the credit card industry, and taught herself how to build the IT component required to support the business. Through her work in putting processes in place for eMerchants and the banking system regarding ethical practices and working out resolutions where there aren’t any currently, Eaton-Cardone has seen first-hand that gender should not stop anyone from going after their dreams.