SA tech industry trying to break national trend

Silicon Valley remains predominately white, male

SAN ANTONIO – Step inside the Sweb Development headquarters and see what companies in Silicon Valley are trying to be.

Despite efforts to diversify, companies like Facebook, Apple and Google remain predominantly white and male.

"In terms of gender diversity, we're almost 50-50 in the company overall, which is really exciting," said Sweb Development CEO Magaly Chocano.

Chocano's 14-person staff is 72 percent Hispanic, 14 percent Asian, 7 percent white and 7 percent Native American. She said diversity is a benefit to her staff and clients.

"The more diverse you are, the better you are in general. It's a male-dominated world, still is, of course, and I think that it will be for a long time. I think women in technology are hard to find, and when you do, it's a gem," she said. "What I have seen is a change in clients actually wanting to work with us and a much more diverse team understanding that having this diversity is incredibly beneficial to them."

The lack of diversity in the tech world is often attributed to the thought that women and minorities are simply not interested in the field. Luis Martinez, director of Trinity University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said San Antonio's bustling tech industry is cutting against that belief.

"We're seeing a large infusion of students that come from Mexican American and Hispanic backgrounds, from women that are studying tech, computer science, engineering science as well to be able to fuel that need locally for that talent," said Trevino.

Trevino said seeing that change reflected in technology hubs like Silicon Valley, Seattle and Austin means large companies have to re-examine their hiring practices.

"It's just a matter of ensuring that the opportunity is available for (diverse talent)," he said. "Hiring managers in these companies (should) understand, companies (should) understand, that attracting talent means going beyond people that look like themselves."