House Vetting Tech Diversity, or Lack of It

The House Consumer Protection Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on "Diversity and Inclusion in Tech."

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 Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), chairman of the parent Energy & Commerce committee and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), chairwoman of the subcommittee, in a joint statement.

Related: FCC Schedules Daylong Diversity Forum

“Tools like algorithms are being used to make decisions, like who gets a job or a loan, that deeply affect people’s lives," they said. "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.”

No word on witnesses, but both Democrats and Republicans have been getting top edge providers execs to make the trip to D.C. as they express increasing concern about the size and power of companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google.

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.