Making News

Hard Data Reveal Truth of Tech Diversity Gap

CHICAGO—A groundbreaking new analytical framework developed by Black Tech Mecca measures key factors determining the efficacy of the tech sector’s diversity efforts. The Black Tech Ecosystem Framework combines measurable data about how Black people are currently engaging in key tech areas and establishes metrics for assessing the state of the Black tech community. BTM is using these metrics to assess tech communities’ progress over time.

Chicago is the first city where the BTE Framework has been applied and was chosen because of the obstacles and assets it brings to the tech diversity gap equation. Created in collaboration with the Voorhees Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the BTE Framework compiles data showing the number of Blacks working in technology fields and documents the actual outcomes of attempts to close the digital divide. This data is the true measurement of real racial diversity in the tech community. BTM’s latest report, “Unleashing Chicago’s Black Tech Ecosystem: Assessing Defining, and Growing Chicago’s BTE,” presents findings from the Chicago application.

“We are working with Chicago educators, government officials, and business leaders to strengthen the efficacy of their efforts to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem,” says BTM CEO Fabian Elliott. “Gathering the right data is critical to designing the right interventions to close the tech diversity gap. We commend those in Chicago who are joining us to ensure a fair, equitable and, ultimately, more prosperous tech economy.”

A primary tool in the evaluation process is the BTE Index, which imposes 13success indicators:

Density, Talent, Funding/Investment, Fluidity Culture, Regulatory Environment, Connectivity Mentors, Incubator/Accelerator, Space/Tech, Hubs
Diversity, Infrastructure, Mobility, Active Exit Markets.

The complete report can be downloaded from Phase I of the BTE Framework project involved development of the general framework. Completion of the Chicago assessment launches Phase II. Phase III is expected to begin early next year.

BTM’s Research sponsors include: Google, CompTia, and NBC Comcast Universal.

Black Tech Mecca’s mission is to ensure Black people are full participants in the global technology sector. Democratizing the tech sector, ecosystem by ecosystem is its goal.