Geography of Work and STEM Diversity - 26.02.21-01

Big Tech’s Opportunity for Inclusive Growth

Pandemic-induced work-from-home policies—now slated to be in place for most of 2021, if not indefinitely—could serve as a catalyst for the tech industry to narrow its growing regional and demographic disparity; allowing more cities and demographics to contribute to and prosper from the industry’s economic growth potential. We examined this issue using metrics such as digital readiness, cost of living, and diversity of tech talent pools for a group of states and major cities in the US to assess whether pandemic-induced work-from-home policies could offer the industry an inclusive growth path forward.

State Workforce Comparison Map

A Tale of Two Digital Economies: Gig Workers and Remote Workers

The pandemic’s evolution and states’ varying policy responses have shown that digitally ready states benefited from both a labor force that could socially distance and work from home, as well as one that could support the delivery of essential services in such a scenario through the availability of gig workers. These past months have demonstrated the gig economy’s increasing importance in providing essential services to communities, while also highlighting the inherent disparities and vulnerabilities experienced by gig workers.

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The Misinformation Maelstrom: A Mapping of Vulnerability Across America

The two major political parties in the United States are in an all-out sprint leading up to the presidential election. Neither has had a shortage of digital mediums to amplify their views to the public. The American public’s increased reliance on social media as a source of news is worrisome because of the propensity of these platforms to spread misinformation. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this trend, tethering people ever more to their personal electronic devices and fostering a boom of both digital crime and misinformation.

TFS - Gender Lens - Earning Disparities

The State of the Gender Pay Gap: Earning Disparities Widen as Women Bear the Brunt of the Pandemic

In the US, women make 82¢ for every man’s $1––a significant disparity that is exacerbated by factors like race and education. As the pandemic rages on, women are bearing the brunt if it on multiple levels: 1) as essential workers on the frontlines; 2) being over-represented in occupations that are not conducive to working from home, and losing jobs crucial to their economic stability; and 3) being under-represented in jobs that could shift to a digital medium, and all this while paying the price of chronic pay gaps and an unequal division of household labor.

Color-of-Disparity-TFS---Hex-States---Unemployment-Claims---16.07.20

Color of Disparity: Addressing extant racial gaps in digital and economic capital key to ensuring an inclusive recovery

Pre-existing racial disparities in unemployment, digital access, and financial resilience have been exacerbated in COVID-19’s wake. Black communities have been disproportionately impacted––in mortality, morbidity, unemployment, and financial losses. As governments and businesses prepare to navigate the economic and public health repercussions of the pandemic, it is crucial to account for these extant inequalities to ensure inclusive recovery.

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