In reading a recent article in Business Insider on changes at GitHub, I noticed a rather surprising bullet point by Nicole Sanchez regarding "Diversity and Inclusion in Tech", which was
Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women.
It reminded me of a claim I read in an American Institutions class long ago that racism displayed by Caucasians against Native Americans didn't really set in when it was mostly male trappers and explorers interacting with Native Americans; it was only when women arrived that racism got really bad. At the time, I wondered if that was actually true or just sounded good (to male textbook writers!), and decided that historical records were probably not accurate enough to settle the matter (even of the order of events, let alone to establish causality).
But the claim in Ms. Sanchez' slide is apparently about the situation today. It's not entirely clear what the context was of the presentation, but Ms. Sanchez recently wrote a USA Today article about the tech sector in general where she makes a similar but weaker set of claims.
So at least with the (lack of) context presented by Business Insider, it sounds like the claim is: "Some of the biggest barriers to diversity and inclusion in technology are white women". (From context, we can probably assume this means "in the U.S.".) The statement, in this form, has been picked up by number of niche regular and social media outlets (including Reddit, BZNews, etc.). But is it true?
There ought to be a good deal of diversity data that could shed light on the situation. For instance, if there was an inverse correlation between ethnic diversity and white-female-to-white-male ratio in tech companies, it would demonstrate that the claim is true for at least some metric of diversity or inclusiveness.