Silicon Valley Is Overwhelmingly White And Asian Males. This Rapper Wants To Change That.

The industry has appalling gender and ethnic inequalities.

The tech industry has a diversity problem. There are exciting ongoing efforts to expand the field beyond White and Asian men, the majority of its makeup. One of them comes from General Assembly, a vocational school in New York for programming and engineering. 

The school's Opportunity Fund will attempt to address the long-standing issue by offering scholarships to groups that are lacking access to the tech field: women, African-Americans, Hispanics and veterans. 

The fund's first backers are Google, Microsoft, Hirepurpose and the rapper that gifted us with Illmatic, Nas.

Each of the contributors will cater to a specific demographic. Google's money will sponsor women, Hirepurpose and Microsoft will focus on veterans, and Nas's QueensBridge Venture Partners will fund scholarships for African-Americans and Hispanics.

iStock/kzenon
iStock/kzenon

Gender and ethnic inequality are huge issues in Silicon Valley.

Hispanics, for example, don't even make up 1 percent of tech founders and the same goes for African-Americans. 

Nationally, women make 78 cents for every dollar that men make. In the center of the cutting edge of tech, women make a woeful 49 cents to a man's dollar.

iStock/DragonImages
iStock/DragonImages

From calling out a woman for not "looking" like an engineer to ethnic minorities not being encouraged to pursue a career in science and tech, there are many needs to be addressed. 

While ongoing efforts to increase diversity in tech are laudable, education in school is a crucial part of fixing this problem, particularly for minorities and the underprivileged. 

Cover image via Kimberly White/Getty Images