Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and First Vice-Chair Rep. Joaquin Castro sent a letter recently to top tech companies to ask for diversity metrics.
Hispanics make up just seven percent of tech employees – much lower than the private sector – and just three percent of tech executives are Hispanic.
The purpose of the inquiry is to obtain data and information on staffing and social responsibility priorities for tech companies. This information will allow the CHC to review and build on efforts to increase diversity in the technology sector and educational pipeline.
The letter was sent to Airbnb, Amazon.com, Apple, Dropbox, eBay, Etsy, Expedia, Facebook, GoDaddy, Google, Groupon, Handy, Intel, Lyft, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, Pandora, Paypal, Postmates, Reddit, Salesforce, Spotify, TaskRabbit, Tesla, Thumbtack, TripAdvisor, Twitter, Uber, Vmware, Yahoo, and Yelp.
The Members cited the fact that the tech sector employs 7 million people in the U.S. and accounts for more than $1.3 trillion in economic activity in the nation’s economy. Moreover, the Hispanic community as a whole is an early adopter of technology and its immense $1.3 trillion in annual economic activity help account for tech company profits. Unfortunately, in tech and “gig economy” companies, Hispanics are routinely underrepresented and underfunded.
Full Text of Letter:
On behalf of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, we write to express our strong concern regarding efforts by tech and “gig economy” companies to hire qualified Hispanics both internally, as full-time employees, and externally as professional services vendors and consultants, as well as the amount of partnership and philanthropic spending that you allocate to Hispanic-serving and Hispanic-led institutions. To help create a baseline of where [COMPANY] is on these critical metrics, we ask that you submit in writing answers to the questions below.
The Hispanic community in the United States has played and will continue to play a pivotal role in the social, economic and political development of our country. As we look to the future, the Hispanic community, as the nation’s largest minority group, is well-positioned to help lead the way as our economy undergoes its most recent transformation. But we cannot do so if we are not given a seat at the table. The tech sector employs 7 million people in the U.S. and accounts for more than $1.3 trillion in economic activity in the nation’s economy. Unfortunately, in tech and “gig economy” companies, Hispanics are routinely underrepresented and underfunded.
The coming months and years could be a time where [COMPANY] seizes on opportunities presented to it, or misses them. While the struggles of the tech community with regard to hiring engineers are well-documented, and the “talent pipeline” challenge when it comes to hiring engineers may be a legitimate one, there are certain decisions that your company makes daily when it comes to hiring, contracting and resource allocations for which there are no “talent pipeline” problems.
To better understand your commitment to the Hispanic community, within 30 days, please respond to our questions below and lay out your plan to address the issues posed:
How many Hispanics do you have as senior executives and on your Board of Directors? Who are the three most senior Hispanics in your company? Please list their titles.
How many Hispanic full-time employees (not contract employees) do you have in each of the following departments: public policy, federal government relations, state and local government relations, public relations/communications, marketing and legal? How many Hispanics do you have leading those departments?
How many Hispanics do you have in your Human Resources Department and Diversity and Inclusion Departments? Who is your most senior Hispanic in both departments and who do they report to?
How many Hispanic-owned firms do you contract with to do federal government relations, state and local government relations, public relations, communications, marketing and legal work? What percentage of your budget for each of these categories goes to Hispanic-owned firms? Among the firms you do contract with, how many Hispanic partner- and principal-level consultants are registered to work on your account? Among the firms you contract with, how many Hispanics originated your account?
How many Hispanic-serving organizations, Hispanic-led advocacy organizations and educational institutions (i.e. Hispanic-Serving Institutions) do you financially partner with and how much do you commit to each group? What is the division between partnership and philanthropic dollars committed? What percentage of your budget for such organizational partnerships do you allocate to Hispanic organizations?
The data we collect may be used to produce an annual report which would create a baseline upon which to ascertain your progress. We look forward to having executives from [COMPANY] meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss your responses.
Michelle Lujan Grisham
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