The tech industry has come to Austin and the Texas Triangle in general. With it, it brought an often-discriminatory corporate culture.
The targets of this institutional discrimination are still working to make these companies more equitable for everybody. However, if the trends are any indication of a larger cultural shift, there is still work to do.
The cultural environment
There is a single demographic that tends to dominate tech companies. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the funding stages for startups, in which women get about 2 percent of venture capital.
In the day-to-day life of a worker at a tech firm, capital strategy might not be as obvious as other forms of discrimination. These types of illegal activity might include:
- Differences in pay correlated only to gender, not to seniority, performance, or other allowable factors
- Companies passing over people who deserve promotions
- Hiring or intracompany transfer decisions that include gender as a factor
This injustice might be subtle, and there might be cultural barriers to discovering it. For example, many people feel uncomfortable discussing their salaries. Companies often use these mindsets to their own advantage — and to the unlawful advantage of a specific gender.
The tech culture backslide
While the law on discrimination is clear, the immediate future of women in tech is not. Access to capital continues to fluctuate for sole-female-led companies. On the ground level, women and other protected classes still face adverse hiring decisions, harassment and other unlawful practices.
While Texas does not have the same type of employment-law environment as other key tech states, specifically California, federal protections would still apply to eligible workers. It is, of course, still up to the workers to pursue these protections.