More than 30 tech companies have signed a promise to improve inclusive hiring practices, according to Network World.
Some of the companies that signed included tech giants like Intel, SAP, Lyft, Spotify and VMware.
The companies sent a letter to President Obama committing to regularly publish data and progress metrics on the diversity of their technology employees and to collaborate to build a diverse pipeline of technology workers, among other actions.
After releasing statistics showing a general lack of diversity among their workers, several tech companies, including Microsoft, Intel and HP, vowed to double their efforts at promoting more diverse workplaces.
Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) met to discuss how to improve diversity in technology. EEOC’s analysis found that Silicon Valley still has a long way to go to achieve diversity. Among the top 75 Silicon Valley tech firms, whites made up 47% of the workforce, Asian Americans 41%, Hispanics 6% and African Americans 3%. Women accounted for just 30% of the workforce at the 75 firms, EEOC found.
The EEOC is calling for stronger efforts to improve the diversity landscape both in Silicon Valley and nationally. "Expanding diversity and inclusion is critical to unlocking the full potential of tomorrow's economy," said EEOC chair Jenny Yang.
Many believe that diverse teams are more successful than non-diverse teams, and that diversity and inclusion efforts are critical to solving the current IT labor shortage. A McKinsey Global Institute report recently estimated that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 just by advancing women's equality. Last summer, President Obama called on tech companies to improve diversity, declaring that businesses must become more inclusive if the tech sector can continue to thrive.
Educating more young people, including minorities and girls, about computer science early on has been another area of focus for tech companies and the government. Yesterday, Google announced new Cloud Platform Education grants for computer science. The grants encourage U.S. university faculty who teach computer science or similar subjects to apply for free credits that will allow their students access and use Google Cloud Platform tools.