CBC Reacts to New Report on Diversity in Tech

Washington, D.C. – The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) - led by Chairman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), and Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) – today issued the following statements after the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, entitled “Diversity in the Technology Sector: Federal Agencies Could Improve Oversight of Equal Employment Opportunity Requirements.”  In the report, GAO found that “no growth occurred for female and Black workers” over the last decade, and that there remains a persistent lack of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the technology workforce.

“Last month I visited the nation’s foremost tech companies in Silicon Valley and witnessed the stunning reversal they have made concerning diversity and inclusion, said Congresswoman Lee, Co-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Diversity Task Force.  “As we continue to press for racial parity within the tech industry, this new report will be an important tool to drive tech companies to be more transparent with their employee data, fully disaggregate their diversity data and establish robust goals to advance equity in tech.”

“This report confirms what we already knew,” Chairman Richmond said. “Too many technology companies are doing a poor job of practicing what they preach when it comes to diversity. The CBC will continue to push technology companies to make much more progress in this area through our CBC TECH 2020 initiative.”

“This GAO report is disappointing but not surprising,” said Congressman Butterfield, Co-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Diversity Task Force.  “The findings reinforce what we have known for some time- that when it comes to diversity and inclusion of African Americans, the tech industry has gone from making some progress toward losing ground.  The Congressional Black Caucus is determined to move the needle toward full parity in the tech sector, and expect less talk from the industry and better results.”

“I was compelled to request this report from the GAO in 2015 after reviewing the startling lack of racial and gender diversity and the many documented reports of the hostile racial and gender environment in the tech sector,” said Congressman Scott, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  “The fact is there is bias in the recruitment, hiring and retention of Black, Hispanic and women workers in the tech sector.  Decades of research show diversity is good for innovation and for the economic bottom line.  Diversity and inclusion must not be treated as an aspiration; it is the law.”    

The CBC founded the CBC TECH 2020 initiative in 2015 to bring together the best minds in tech, non-profit, education, and public sectors to chart a path forward to increase African American diversity and inclusion at all levels of the technology industry.  According to the Level Playing Field Institute, there will be an estimated 1.4 million new tech jobs by 2020, and 70% of those jobs will remain unfilled at the rate U.S. universities are producing qualified graduates for these roles. 

FACT SHEET: GAO Diversity in Tech Diversity Report

REPORT: Diversity in the Technology Sector: Federal Agencies Could Improve Oversight of Equal Employment Opportunity Requirements