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Silicon Valley’s Least Favorite Word

This week I was reminded of a topic that makes Silicon Valley cringe more than Donald Trump. Sadly, it is diversity.

Our annual “Future List” showed that about 89% of investment decision-makers at the top 72 VC firms were male and 75% were white. The number of women rose by 17 to 62—in part because we added a few firms to the list. There were still only seven African-Americans (up from four) and 11 Hispanics (up from seven).

While optimists could find the increase in women reason to celebrate, I left the months-long data project feeling as grim as ever, perhaps the most grim I’ve felt in more than 11 years of reporting about the tech industry.

The attitudes I have encountered around diversity—from critics of the study and from others in tech—are frequently worse than the data.

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