Black lawmakers are impatient with tech’s lack of diversity and are threatening regulation to force the issue

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Leading black lawmakers are growing impatient with tech’s largely unfulfilled promises to improve employee diversity. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) made the strongest case for regulation during a panel discussion with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the last day of their trip to Silicon Valley. She said she was “floored” to find out that many tech companies had only 1 percent to 2 percent black employees. “I’m talking about some regulation,” said Rep Waters, who was jokingly referred to by her fellow CBC members on their trip to Silicon Valley as “The Enforcer.” “I’m talking about using the power that our voters have given us to produce legislation and to talk about regulation in these industries that have not been talked about before,” she said. She later added, “I’m not urging, I’m not encouraging, I’m about to hit some people across the head with a hammer.” Other members of Congress on the trip — Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC); Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA); and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) — also shared their frustration with the lack of improvement they’ve been seeing since the Congressional Black Caucus started a taskforce to improve diversity in tech back in 2015.


Black lawmakers are impatient with tech’s lack of diversity and are threatening regulation to force the issue The Congressional Black Caucus says some Silicon Valley companies have ‘gone backwards’ on diversity