It’s no secret that the tech sector is one of the fastest growing segments of the global economy, but in spite of this, many black and Latino folks have been left out of the boom. But a new study also seems to uncover that the industry itself–including many of the low wage jobs that employ people of color–partake in discriminatory practices against people of color.

After filmmaker Andrew Wilson spent six months at Google, he noticed something interesting about the way the company treats its employees.

Wilson explains Google’s colored badge system:

Thousands of people with red badges (such as me, my team, and most other contractors) worked amongst thousands of people with white badges (as Full-time Googlers). Interns are given green badges. However, a fourth class exists at Google that involves strictly data-entry labor, or more appropriately, the labor of digitizing. These workers are identifiable by their yellow badges, and they go by the team name ScanOps. They scan books, page by page, for Google Book Search. The workers wearing yellow badges are not allowed any of the privileges that I was allowed – ride the Google bikes, take the Google luxury limo shuttles home, eat free gourmet Google meals, attend Authors@Google talks and receive free, signed copies of the author’s books, or set foot anywhere else on campus except for the building they work in. They also are not given backpacks, mobile devices, thumb drives, or any chance for social interaction with any other Google employees. Most Google employees don’t know about the yellow badge class.

The infographic, by OnlineITDegree.net, also takes a look at the ways in which digital technology from face recognition software to voice-activated systems disregard people of color.

But does this mean the tech industry is racist, or like all other industries, seems to only see things from a white-centric perspective?

Check out the infographic and share your thoughts.

Tech is Racist
Created by: OnlineITDegree.net

  • MrTruthTeller

    Let me put it to you guys this way…. I’m in the high tech field and you don’t see too many of us around. I spent 9 years at Nextel and you really have to search for black engineers in my department.

  • Nila

    Ummm…Maybe this is because most African-Americans are most likley to be postal workers than college educated professionals.Why is this story such a shocker??

  • Nila

    I meant to say “more” likely to be postal workers” But I am sure you get the point.

  • Pingback: Rhizome | Art from Outside the Googleplex: An Interview with Andrew Norman Wilson

Read previous post:
Close