45 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 Lack of Demographic Change in Spite of Efforts to Diversify Perhaps no other industry has seen such an abysmal return on its investments to diversify the profession than the technology industry. Speaking about the “technology giants” such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, etc., a recent article from the Associated Press provided sobering statistics for the rate of “diversity” hiring by these corporations when compared to percentages of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color graduating with computer science and related degrees.6 This is in spite of hundreds of millions of dollars and ubiquitous training committed by these tech giants. Research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) identified considerable gaps between what leaders in large organizations saw as the most significant barriers to developing a more diverse workforce and achieving greater diversity in managerial and leadership ranks, on one hand, and what people from identified “underrepresented” or “marginalized” groups perceived to be preventing progress, on the other.7 The same can be said of the proposed interventions that would lead to sustained change. The BCG researchers indicated that corporate leaders tend to see recruitment as the major obstacle to diversifying their workforces, whereas people from underrepresented groups see the obstacles across the employment life cycle: recruitment, retention, and advancement. As the BCG authors noted: Hiring people from diverse groups is easier than successfully addressing the deep-rooted cultural and organizational issues that those groups face in their day-to-day work experience. Unfortunately, the story is quite similar in higher education, specifically with respect to diversification of the professoriate. A recent study published in the Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy showed there has been little progress in the representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and women among university faculty.8 The article, which tracked federal data of demographic trends from 2013 to 2017, reported that the number of Black tenured faculty members grew by
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