A key voice for Amazon, Facebook, Google and other tech giants in the nation’s capital is kicking off a new initiative to try to diversify the industry’s predominately white, male ranks.
For years, Silicon Valley and other tech hotspots around the country have faced constant condemnation for failing to hire and retain employees from underrepresented groups. Among the critics is the Congressional Black Caucus, a powerful group of lawmakers that has even threatened regulation if tech doesn’t make major changes.
In response to that political pressure, a key lobbying group for the industry, the Internet Association, told lawmakers this week that it would create a new role to focus on those issues — and kick off a campaign that aims to “improve diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.”
That means a fresh commitment to publish more “accurate and relevant industry-wide employment data,” according to the group’s leader, Michael Beckerman.
“It is important that the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints among internet users is represented in the industry generally and our policy engagement specifically,” he wrote in a letter dated Jan. 23 and obtained by Recode. Other members of the Internet Association include Airbnb, Uber and Twitter.
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