Lack of Talent Pipeline a ‘Myth’ Says Congressional Black Caucus Chair

CBC and black tech professionals announce new diversity and inclusion efforts

CBC Tech 2020 AAIP

Troy Clair (Office of Rep. Butterfield), Kevin Antoine (AAAED), Perry Carter (BDPA), Cam Snaith (Bleeker), Viola Thompson (ITSMF), Zack Lemelle (GLF) (Source: Medium.com)

“There’s not enough talent in the pipeline,” is what heads of some of the largest tech companies have told those pushing for more diversity and inclusion in the technology industry.

“We have found that to be somewhat of a myth,” said Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, at a CBC Tech 2020 event in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

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Congressman Butterfield and Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) co-hosted the event to announce that seven African American tech professional organizations will create and implement African American Inclusion Plans (AAIPs) to increase diversity in tech.

“There are African Americans who are ready, who are willing, and who are able to work for tech companies and sit on boards of directors,” said the congressman. “Companies can no longer stand on the crutch that a lack of a talent pipeline” is a reason for not including significant numbers of African Americans in technology, he said.

The seven organizations that will work with the CBC on the AAIP effort are American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity; Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA); Blacks In Technology (BIT); Bleeker; Career Communications Group (CCG); Global Leadership Forum (GLF); and Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF).

The congressman also outlined the next steps for the CBC, which include: focusing more intently on the representation of African Americans in the government affairs offices of tech companies in the D.C. area; traveling to tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley to access a broader range of stakeholders; working with a broader selection of tech-related companies such as telecoms, financial services, and biotech firms; and highlighting the work of innovative tech companies that are setting and achieving goals for increasing diversity and inclusion.