Two Years After George Floyd Murder, Big Tech Fails to Live Up to Its Promises

Following the social unrest that was caused by the murder of George Floyd by a corrupt police officer, many major tech companies vowed to improve their diversity and inclusion because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up helping solve the racial problems facing the world to some extent. No more than a week following Floyd’s murder, over two hundred big tech corporations promised to invest in things that would improve equality, hire more black people as well as provide diversity training to current employees.

Now that two years have passed since Floyd’s unjust murder, has Big Tech delivered on any of its promises? Numerous interviews of Black tech employees reveal that their initial statements might have been little more than lip service. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that many of the promises that Big Tech made were quite vague, which makes it difficult to track their progress.

For example, a director level employee at Microsoft who happens to be Black recently said the experience of Black employees in tech companies has not changed much over the past two years. Despite being at a director level position, this Microsoft employee still had to work harder than her white coworkers by doing things like constantly keeping a record of her accomplishments and leveraging other Black colleagues at high positions who could vouch for her.

One of the promises that Big Tech made was to hire more Black employees, but in spite of the fact that this is the case very little progress has been made on that front if at all. This promise is also a little underhanded in that it did not have the ability to initiate significant progress and long term change. Facebook promised to increase the number of Black employees by 38%, and while they went past this five year goal within the span of a single year, Black representation at the company only increased from 3.4% to 4.7% with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Many Black employees at Facebook said that while they were allowed to put up Black Lives Matters avatars, many of their coworkers put up Blue Lives Matter ones and openly talked about how George Floyd deserved to die despite him not having done anything that warranted that. Facebook refuses to take these posts and avatars down by claiming that this would infringe on free speech, but this is a false equivalence since one movement seeks to recognize and mitigate the long standing subjugation of Black people by police forces and the other is trying to gloss over the violence and unfairness that policing institutions have long been involved with.

Despite claiming that they want to improve the lives of Black people, tech companies are only offering small changes and are doing nothing to address racism and even white supremacism in their own workplaces. Until these issues are addressed, any attempts to solve these issues will prove to be futile. Things like the Black tax and other problems are far more critical to solve.

H/T: Insider.

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