Silicon Valley commits to inclusive recruitment

IT companies old and new promise to create a more diverse workforce

Tech companies from across the world have signed up to a White House initiative to be more inclusive in their hiring processes.

In total 33 businesses - including Intel, VMware, SAP, Lyft and GoDaddy - committed to the Tech Inclusion Pledge, promising to "take action to make the technology workforce at each of our companies fully representative of the American people, as soon as possible".

The pledge document itself does not give many details as to what this actually means, however. Its three key points are to implement and publish company-specific goals to recruit, retain, and advance diverse technology talent; to annually publish data and progress metrics on the diversity of our technology workforce; and to invest in partnerships to build a diverse pipeline of technology talent.

While the specifics of the pledge aren't clear, the Tech Inclusion website offer statistics that throw a rather bad light on Silicon Valley's current diversity.

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According to the initiative, only one per cent of America's venture capital-backed start-ups are led by African-Americans, and only nine per cent of tech industry workers are Black or Latino/a. Additionally, 88 per cent of IT patents have male-only invention teams.

The pledge programme has been well received in America, but similar schemes are lacking in the UK at a governmental level.

Nevertheless at least one of the businesses operating here as well in the US has said it will carry its commitment across the Atlantic.

Tim Barker, CEO of data intelligence firm DataSift, told IT Pro: "We're committed to increasing diversity in all of our offices globally and will be running this as an initiative in the UK as well as the US, so would be happy to be part of similar initiatives in the UK."

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