House Dems say people of color yet to find home in Silicon Valley

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.”

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