Update 6/23/2020: After the publication of this article, three companies reached out with responses from Tymewear, Jellyfish, AllHere. The story has been updated to reflect this new information at bottom.
Boston’s tech boom has led to a huge need for tech-related talent. But while the last decade has brought nearly 72,000 new tech jobs to Massachusetts, the growth brought with it slim progress regarding the makeup of who actually fills those roles. (Spoiler: It’s largely white men.)
According to MassTLC, it will take until 2085 for Black workers to reach the same hiring rate of white men in the industry today. For Latinos, it will take until 2045. And for women, it will take until 2070.
In this month’s Boston column, we decided to check in on the region’s diversity efforts. Boston is a city that has been defined both by a historically racist reputation and its university-driven liberal bonafides. As companies across the country have reacted to systemic racism with promises to do better when it comes to hiring, we wondered: Is Boston stepping up to the plate when it comes to hiring underrepresented candidates?
Using a list generated by a simple, time-bounded Crunchbase search for most recent Boston-area fundraising events. we turned to 15 companies that have recently raised within Boston and asked about their diversity efforts:
- Ginkgo Bioworks
- Wasabi Technologies
- Orbita AI
- Atea Pharmaceuticals
- LifePod Solutions
- AllHere Education
- Canvas GFX
- PIC Therapeutics
- Tyme Wear
Only a handful of companies responded, which wasn’t a good sign. Boston has a stunted record of releasing diversity data, so the silence was somewhat expected, if a little disappointing. Let’s review the responses we received to see what we can learn from both the answers (and the nonanswers).
At the end, we’ll look at some recent Boston venture data. We also have a new Boston investor survey coming later this month, so stay tuned.