3 Tech Policy Recommendations for the 2020 Presidential Candidates

by Karla Monterroso, CEO, Code2040

Photo Credit: Kenneth Eke, Welcome Weekend

The importance of diversifying the innovation economy cannot be overstated.

2040 is the beginning of the decade when Black and Latinx people will become the majority. As our demographics shift, our economy will suffer terrible consequences if Black and Latinx people are not building, creating, and leading the industry. We have to stop pretending that lack of a trained workforce is the only barrier to people entering it. Our companies have not been built for the management and success of diverse workplaces. Every best practice we see now is based on information for a workplace that is quickly ceasing to exist.

Overturn the federal statute prohibiting EEO-1 survey data from being available to the public

Silicon Valley finally acknowledged it had a diversity problem in 2014, when Google released their company data. Until then, advocates of this work were in the position of proving Silicon Valley’s diversity issues.

Expand the EEO-1 survey to include the top of funnel applicant rates and retention/attrition rates of full-time employees

The Kapor Center’s Tech Leavers study tells us that company attrition is costing tech $16B in employee replacement costs a year. This is not a healthy workforce.

Require that companies over 100 people exceeding 20% of its full-time staff in contractor services need to report EEO-1 type data on it’s independent contractors

Black and Latinx workforces make up 3%-5% of Silicon Valley’s workforce but 25% of its white collar subcontractors and 58% of blue collar subcontracted workers. You often hear stories of talent that is sitting in what is essentially full-time work but getting paid on a different scale without access to benefits, career mobility, or equity. There needs to be a forcing function that prevents employers from putting Black and Latinx employees on a “try-out” that disenfranchises their economic prospects. We enshrine the racial wage and wealth gaps in these choices and companies are allowed to make their fortunes, yet again, on underpaid Black and Latinx people.

What policies would you recommend candidates create that address the size and scope of the problem?

Activating, connecting, and mobilizing the largest racial equity community in tech.

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