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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Only 52% of Black tech employees say they trust that their employers value inclusion and diversity, according to a new survey by /dev/color, a non-profit focused on Black technologists.

  • 85% say they'd switch to another employer "that valued me as a Black employee more authentically."

Why it matters: While much of the discussion around diversifying the tech industry's ranks revolves around hiring, the experience of employees from underrepresented backgrounds once they are within companies is just as important.

What they're saying: "This isn't just about broken promises or missteps that happen all the time, but failing to walk the walk, failure to deliver," /dev/color CEO Rhonda Allen tells Axios.

  • "Our community is a in a bit of wait and see when it comes to these initiatives," she says of the pledges and announcements tech companies made last year in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing. "I just think there’s more work to do and we want to partner in that work."

By the numbers (per /dev/color's survey of 260 of its members, conducted in Q1 2021):

  • 62% said they felt appreciated by their employer as a Black engineer or Black leader.
  • 90% said their employer needs to invest more in growing its Black employee pipeline.
  • 50% said the consequences of speaking out were too risky for their career.
  • 90% said they want organizations like /dev/color to speak out on their behalf.

The bottom line: "It’s less about saying this is how people feel, it’s more about saying 'this is a real threat to the future of your business, to the innovation that you're trying to foster, to the culture you’re trying to build,'" says Allen.

  • Describing Black tech workers' sentiments about their employers' efforts in hiring and retaining them, Allen said, "The risk of pipeline rupture and exodus is real."

Go deeper

Aspiring Black homeowners face uphill battle in Philadelphia

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Aspiring Black homebuyers get denied mortgage loans in Philadelphia more frequently than their white counterparts, according to a report released this month.

  • And if they do manage to get a mortgage, they're competing with cash buyers — largely investors — in their neighborhoods.

Why it matters: Philadelphia has a long history of people of color, particularly Black people, being excluded from the mortgage market, tracing back to redlining in the 1930s.

  • Anti-discrimination laws like the Fair Housing Act of 1968 have helped make strides, but disparities persist.

COVID cases and deaths are on the rise

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising all across the U.S. even before the Omicron variant takes hold.

Why it matters: The holidays — and the inevitable spread of Omicron — will only heighten the risks that unvaccinated Americans face from COVID, in all its forms.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.