Project Include: An Effort to Share Data to Help Diversify Employment at Tech Companies

Mike Isaac reported on the front page of the business section in today’s New York Times that, “Ellen Pao spent the last few years spotlighting the technology industry’s lack of diversity, in court and beyond. Erica Baker caused a stir at Google when she started a spreadsheet last year for employees to share their salaries, highlighting the pay disparities between those of different genders doing the same job. Laura I. Gómez founded a start-up focused on improving diversity in the hiring process.

“Now the three — along with five other prominent Silicon Valley women from companies including Pinterest, Stripe and Slackare starting an effort to collect and share data to help diversify the rank-and-file employees who make up tech companies. The nonprofit venture, called Project Include, was unveiled on Tuesday.”

Mr. Isaac indicated that, “The group’s push is one of the more visible diversity efforts to come from women in Silicon Valley as tech companies grapple with criticism over the makeup of their work forces, which skew white and male. Over the last few years, tech entrepreneurs like Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls Code and Laura Weidman Powers of Code 2040 have promoted the inclusion of young women and minorities in early computer science education programs with their start-ups.

Project Include stands out because of the number of well-known tech women in the group who have championed diversity and are now banding together.”

The Times article added that, “As part of Project Include, the group plans to extract commitments from tech companies to track the diversity of their work forces over time and eventually share that data with other start-ups. The effort will focus on start-ups that employ 25 to 1,000 workers, in the hope of spurring the companies to think about equality sooner rather than later. The project will also ask for participation from venture capital firms that advise and mentor the start-ups.

“Project Include aims to have 18 companies as part of its first cohort; a few have already signed up. The group will meet regularly for seven months to define and track specific metrics.”

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