Diversifying the Tech Sector: Bay Area Organizations Meet with Congressional Black Caucus Leaders

CBC Press Conf (left to right): Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) TECH 2020 Task Force visited the Bloomberg Tech Hub in San Francisco on Tuesday in a final stop of a tour through Silicon Valley this week to advance the CBC TECH 2020 initiative. Launched in May, CBC TECH 2020 is a five-year plan developed to address the underrepresentation of African Americans in the technology industry.

Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) hosted a press conference and roundtable discussion on the outcome of their three-day trip to meet with executives from the country’s top technology companies and organizations.

They concluded that, while each of the companies they met with had their own unique strategies for becoming more diverse, they had varying levels of commitment to those strategies.

“There will be at least 1.4 million new jobs in the technology sector in the next five years,” said Rep. Butterfield. “The problem is we are not graduating students effectively to fulfill this pipeline.”

A later roundtable discussion allowed Reps. Butterfield and Lee to continue probing the issues with local non-profit organizations and technology leaders, including:

  • Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta, Bloomberg (moderator)
  • Akeem Brown, Programs Director, Hidden Genius Project
  • Evan Engstrom, Policy Director, Engine
  • Dori Farah, Affinity Group Alliance Manager, National Center for Women & Information Technology
  • Zach Haehn, Head of San Francisco R&D, Bloomberg
  • Hope Kehman, Program Manager, Black Girls CODE
  • Mimi Fox Melton, Director of Program Development and Implementation, Code 2040
  • Michael Nobleza, National Director, #YesWeCode
  • Danielle Rose, Director of Programs, Level Playing Field Institute
  • Judith Williams, Global Diversity and Talent Programs Manager, Google
  • Kiva Wilson, Diversity Program Manager, Facebook

For more information on the CBC’s efforts and select coverage of the event please visit the Congressional Black Caucus.

Bloomberg’s diverse workforce and open culture are essential to innovation, which is the key to our success. For information on Bloomberg’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts, please visit our annual impact report here.

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