In the March 2021 edition of The Quintessential Gentleman, Thomas McElroy tells his story as a Black man forging his path in the world of technology, and how through hard work, patience, and perseverance, he is emerging as a leader in an industry that was once difficult to penetrate as a Person of Color.
Throughout the past few decades, technology has surged forward at a breakneck pace, opening up possibilities that once seemed like pipe dreams. And while the advances in technology stole the headlines, there was another story being told. This was the story of technology working as ‘a great diversity equalizer.’ You see, technology wasn’t supposed to see race, ethnicity, class, or background. At the time, we all thought that the internet could level the playing fields of all voices. As a Black man at the pinnacle of success in the technology industry, I can look back now and realize how challenging this notion was. And the statistics bear out the fact that we still have a long way to go before equality in tech (or anywhere) is achieved. According to the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, African-Americans make up less than 5% of the technology industry’s entire workforce in Silicon Valley. Moreover, the percentage of African Americans in executive positions is speculated to be less than 1% – even though African Americans make up over 13% of the national population.