The report found North Carolina’s tech sector was 36.3 percent women, second only to Washington D.C.
But the state ranks under the national average in its employment of minority workers.
Ted Abernathy, a managing partner of Economic Leadership, the firm that compiled the report, said to increase the number of minorities in the tech sector, the burden will fall mainly on educational institutions.
“I think we can do some outreach currently, train coders and other things that can be done post-graduation,” Abernathy said. “But it is an effort by all of our educational institutions to load the track and then be successful in transferring skills to minorities that are in demand in the science and innovation areas.”
Universities and companies alike are already committed to increasing diversity, Kevin Jeffay, chairperson of the UNC Department of Computer Science, said.
“The best way to grow the percentage of women and minorities in the tech sector is to graduate more,” Jeffay said. “If we produce more numbers of these underrepresented groups, they’ll get hired and the numbers will skyrocket.”
Brooks Raiford, president and CEO of the North Carolina Technology Association, said the state technology sector can attribute some of its growth to the living conditions in the state. Weather, favorable tax policies and cost of living are all factors that may contribute to the consistent growth of the North Carolina technology sector.