Asians get paid less in Silicon Valley tech jobs | Inquirer Technology

Asians get paid less in Silicon Valley tech jobs


  • Now better represented in work force but paid less
  • Some blame H-1B temporary worker status

LOS ANGELES — Silicon Valley’s tech companies publicly released reports of the gender and racial make up of their workforces, showing disturbing wage gaps among their relatively diverse employees.

Asian Americans are well represented among the tech ranks, making up 34 percent of Google’s employees, 41 percent of Facebook and 57 percent at Yahoo.

The problem, researchers have discovered, no longer lies in employee representation, but in wage inequality.


Researchers at the American Institute for Economic Research found that Asian tech workers on average made an estimated $8,146 less each year than white workers in 2012.

They made $3,656 less than black workers and $6,907 less than those who identified as “other.” On average, women—Asian American or not—earn $6,358 less than men each year.

Many believe that the reason for the wage gap is that Asians are more likely to be foreign workers living in the US on an H-1B visa, a non-immigrant visa that allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialized occupations.

The study authors also note than two out of 10 employees in jobs “with a high H-1B demand” are Asian, compared with eight percent of the general population.


The authors stress that they do not believe the H-1B visas reduce wages, but that “there are systematic wage differences” in computer technology-related and financial services occupations by race, ethnicity, gender, marital status and number of children.

Google made headlines when it publicly revealed its data for the first time in an upfront blog post.


“Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, and it’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts,” wrote Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations, Laszlo Bock.

Other big-time companies like Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo also released their data, confirming many suspicions of the ways of the tech industry.

“White men made up the biggest piece of the worker pie at Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and eBay,” wrote Katie Benner for Bloomberg View.

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TOPICS: Apple, linkedin, Microsoft, Silicon Valley, Twitter, Yahoo
TAGS: Apple, linkedin, Microsoft, Silicon Valley, Twitter, Yahoo

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