Congressional Black Caucus pushes tech industry to move the dial on diversity
- A lobbying group representing Google, Amazon and Facebook said the tech giants are launching a campaign to diversify their mostly white, male staffs, prompted by pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Recode reports. The powerful caucus has criticized the tech industry for failing to hire and retain women and underrepresented groups, especially people of color.
- Last week, the Internet Association told lawmakers that their new campaign aims to improve diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Michael Beckerman, the group's leader, said the change includes a renewed commitment to publish “accurate and relevant industry-wide employment data,” according to Recode. In 2017, African Americans made up 3% of Facebook's staff and only 1% of Google's, igniting more criticism from the CBC.
- Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) wrote the Internet Association, demanding that it take a bigger role in eliminating gender and racial bias in the tech industry.
Tech companies have been claiming for years that they're trying to diversify their ranks, but their hiring results tell a different story.
A few tech companies, such as Accenture, have found success by using the data at their disposal to track hiring, promotions and pay and then taking that data to make necessary changes to processes. Using data and fixing job ad language can also help an employer circumvent the internal veto process, whereby people tend to hire others who are more like themselves.
Another question for tech companies: What happens after women and the few people of color who "get past the gate" are hired? A survey by the Kapor Center for Social Impact, an organization promoting diversity, and Harris Poll found that 80% of respondents, some 2,000 people who left their tech jobs, said they faced unfair practices involving assignments and promotions, stereotyping, sexual harassment and bullying.
Without proper cultural shifts driven from the top down, tech companies will still struggle to hire, retain and promote more women and people of color.