High Tech Diversity Hearing Rescheduled

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) has rescheduled a hearing on diversity and inclusion in tech, more to the point as far as they are concerned, the notable lack of it.

The new date for the hearing, “Inclusion in Tech: How Diversity Benefits All Americans," is Wednesday, March 6, at 10:30 a.m.Initially it had been scheduled for Feb. 14, but was postponed for the funeral of the late committee chairman, John Dingell (D-Mich.).

Silicon Valley has long been under scrutiny over the dearth of various minority populations in its workforce and the impact of its algorithms on those populations.

“People of color, women, and older Americans are largely absent from the workforce of American technology companies,” said Pallone and Schakowsky in a joint statement. “Tools like algorithms are being used to make decisions, like who gets a job or a loan, that deeply affect people’s lives. Yet designers of these technologies often don’t take into consideration the full diversity of America. As a result, their products often have biased results that lead to discriminatory outcomes. We look forward to exploring the effects of these biases and need for inclusion in the sector’s workforce.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.