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Diversity in tech: will alarming reports change the culture at tech firms?

By Ben Levine for Kapitall.

Anyone who has worked in the tech industry, knows someone who works in it, or has seen the 1999 movie Office Space could tell you about a leading stereotype in the industry: lack of diversity.

We all imagine a room full of white guys with pocket protectors, and according to recent reports, we’re not too far off.

Search engine and consumer tech giant Google (GOOGL), in an effort at transparency and (ostensible) accountability, released a breakdown of their workforce demographics in May. According to the report, the entire company is 70% male, 61% white and 30% Asian, with only 4% identifying as two or more races, 3% identifying as Hispanic, 2% as black, and less than 1% as other. 

The report allows the viewer to narrow the search to Google’s employees in tech fields and the results are even bleaker: 83% are men, 60% are white, 34% are Asian, with 3% identifying as two or more races, 2% identifying as Hispanic, 1% as black, and less than 1% as other.

On Tuesday, Yahoo! (YHOO) followed suit. Their report contains roughly similar breakdowns.

The news inspired us to seek out publicly traded consumer tech companies that shine more brightly in the realm of employee diversity, and we used DiversityInc’s most recent annual Top 50 list to select them. Though participation is self-selected, the list is created empirically,  taking 183 factors into account.

The relevant companies that made the list are AT&T (T) at number 10, IBM (IBM) at number 23, Time Warner (TWX) at number 42, Verizon (VZ) at number 43, and Comcast (CMCSA) at number 44.

Do you prefer to invest in companies that lead the charge in diversity? Do you think they will fare better as diversity issues become increasingly pressing? Take a look at the list below, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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