30 tech companies sign White House diversity pledge by Mario Trujillo

30 tech companies sign White House diversity pledge by Mario Trujillo

More than 30 tech companies made a commitment to the White House on Wednesday to track and set workforce diversity goals.

The pledge by companies to make their workforce more representatives of the public was signed by a number of high-profile companies including Airbnb, Box, GitHub, GoDaddy, Intel, Lyft, Medium, Pinterest, Spotify, Zynga and others.

The companies pledged to set specific diversity and hiring goals, and also to publish the data openly. They further vowed to “invest in partnerships” to increase the pipeline for tech talent.

“With the eyes of the world on Silicon Valley, today the Obama Administration is announcing new commitments to advance inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation here at home,” the White House said in a statement.

While “Tech Inclusive Pledge” sets a general goal to make companies “fully representative” of the U.S. public, it allows companies to set their own pace.

The pledge appears less rigorous and specific that commitments that the Congressional Black Caucus has tried to pressure companies into signing.

The tech community broadly has a poor track record at diversity.

According to statistics offered by the group running the pledge, 9 percent of tech workers are black or Hispanic. That number is only 1 percent among venture capitalists. The vast majority of patents are also filed by men.

The White House has used its bully pulpit to press the industry in the past. Last year, it got 10 companies to agree to consider diverse candidates when it is looking for new senior executives.

The pledge was wrapped into a broader slate of tech-focused initiatives the administration rolled out on Wednesday ahead of President Obama’s talk at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley on Friday.


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