Lack of diversity could undercut Silicon Valley

(USAToday) The technology industry's predominantly white and Asian male workforce is in danger of losing touch with the diverse nation — and world — that forms its customer base.

Recently released numbers from some of the largest and most powerful companies confirm what many had suspected: Opportunity here is not created equal.

Blacks and Hispanics are largely absent, and women are underrepresented in Silicon Valley — from giant companies to start-ups to venture capital firms.

The industry that bills itself as a meritocracy actually looks more like a "mirrortocracy," says longtime high-tech entrepreneur Mitch Kapor, co-chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact.

Even as companies scramble to find workers in the most competitive hiring market in recent memory, most are continuing to bring aboard people who look like they do.

And that, Kapor says, could undercut Silicon Valley, which needs the best people and ideas to create the next Facebook or Google.

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