The internet industry is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive online community and workforce to better reflect society at large. Companies with diverse workforces perform more effectively and create more innovative products. The industry is committed to engaging with relevant stakeholders, identifying best practices, and finding an industry-wide understanding of the problem and potential solutions.
Internet Association’s 2019 Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Benchmark Report provides first-of-its-kind workforce data for companies in the internet industry. This report goes beyond traditional workforce data by examining existing D&I efforts and infrastructure of IA member companies that vary in age, size, and business model to better understand the current landscape of historically underrepresented populations in the workforce.
IA’s D&I Benchmark Report is the first step in a collaborative effort among IA member companies to identify areas where companies can share best practices, adopt and expand existing successful initiatives, and develop evidence-based standards to improve overall D&I efforts among the internet industry.
IA’s D&I Benchmark Report found that:
- The majority (70 percent) of IA members companies have an appointed D&I head with direct reports and dedicated D&I budgets.
- Internet companies with dedicated D&I budgets have a higher representation of women and underrepresented groups.
- Internet companies struggle to retain talent from underrepresented groups as they grow and age. Yet, as companies mature, representation of women increases.
The report examined IA members’ D&I practices at all levels of their organizations and found:
release public facing data regarding the diversity of their workforce
regularly recruit from HBCUs, HSIs, and predominantly minority-serving institutions
have formal employee resource groups (ERGs)
track their spending on third-party vendors.
IA members invest in resources and partnerships that help promote diversity and inclusivity.
- Partner with organizations such as the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Thurgood Marshall Fund, YearUp, Out for Undergrad, and more to bring talented students into the workforce.
- Implement hiring practices to increase opportunities for people of color in the hiring phase such as policies similar to the NFL “Rooney Rule.”
- Establish teams of individuals focused specifically on building diversity.
- Employ ethicists to continually monitor products and artificial intelligence for signs of unintentional bias.
- Conduct employee and consumer surveys to solicit feedback about their company’s inclusion practices.
- Release annual reports on diversity and inclusion as an overview and guide for future improvements.
- Collaborate with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to strengthen the pipeline of new diverse workers in the industry.
- Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERG) for Blacks, Latinos, LGBTQ+, Women, and more to create spaces and communities for members to have a collective voice.
- Engage directly with policymakers, including the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and HBCU Caucus, to find solutions to issues of diversity in tech.