Latinas in tech are marking a milestone in the U.S..
Representational image Christina of

The U.S. tech sector has been making headlines lately for high-profile layoffs at different companies, but reality shows that it's still one of the most lucrative sectors of the economy, with a median wage of over $100,000 a year and a hyped future fueled by the frenzy over artificial intelligence.

That's why a new report by the Kapor Foundation seeks to draw attention to the continued underrepresentation of Latinos in the sector. The study, titled "State of Diversity: The Latine Tech Ecosystem," takes a deep dive on all instances that comprise the industry, starting at K-12 and all the way to the labor and venture capital worlds.

Looking at the workforce, the report highlights that "despite years of diversity and inclusion efforts," Latino professionals continue to be significantly underrepresented across the sector.

And even though nearly one in five workers in the country is Latino, they comprise only 10% of workers in tech. The picture hasn't changed between 2018 and 2022 and, what's worse for the demographic, they have been disproportionately impacted by recent layoffs, comprising 11.5% of all laid off workers.

Latino talent "comprise just 6% of technical roles across the largest U.S.-based tech companies" and, at the current pace, parity in this area "will not be reached until the year 2077."

The picture is bleaker higher up in the corporate ladder, as Latinos only hold 5% of all executive leadership roles and 3% of tech company board seats, the study shows.

The Kapor Foundation makes a series of policy recommendations, which include "diversifying current recruitment strategies by identifying new outreach opportunities and building partnerships, such as recruiting from HSIs; Set explicit goals for recruitment, hiring, promotion, compensation, and organizational culture to ensure" Latino representation across all levels of the company, "from entry-level to the C-Suite and Board level; and Create accountability mechanisms once explicit goals are set for increasing representation across the organization."

Looking at the venture capital ecosystem (VC), the study shows that Latino representation "remains at the margins" despite "data showing that more diverse VC teams yield better financial returns."

And even though the amount of Latino general partners increased more than fivefold between 2019 and 2022 (11 to 57), the overall number of firms and Latino VCs "are still not representative" of the demographic "nor sufficient to provide investment opportunities through" the Latino "lens and culture." Latino investors comprise "only 6% of total VC investment professionals and only 5% of partner-level VC investment professionals," Kapor's study showed.

This translated into funding. In 2021, during the peak of investment in the area, Latino founders only received 3% of the capital. And as flows decreased in 2023, the figure dropped to just 1.3%.

Latino VCs interviewed about their experiences, they "identified an interconnected set of structural barriers that must be addressed to recruit and retain" Latino talent in the area, "such as more mentorship opportunities, disrupting microaggressions, and eliminating a sense of isolation."

Among the different calls to action in this area, the study highlights the need for an increased access to capital for Latino-founded firms and founders; "conduct audits of current recruitment, hiring, promotion, compensation policies and practices, and examine organizational culture to promote" Latino representation within venture firms.

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