Congresswoman Barbara Lee along with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – led by Chairman Cedric Richmond and Representatives G.K. Butterfield and Emanuel Cleaver– sent a letter to Uber, calling on the ride-share service company and other technology firms to prioritize diversity when filling senior leadership positions.
“When the Congressional Black Caucus Diversity Task Force launched CBC TECH 2020 in May 2015, we cautioned leaders in the tech community that its lack of African American inclusion was bad for business and for the country,” the members wrote.
“We encouraged the tech community to make diversity and inclusion a priority in order to take advantage of America’s best talent and strengthen our global competitiveness. It seems that Uber, and many of its peers in the industry, have not prioritized the urgent need for a diverse and inclusive workforce,” the letter said.
“The lack of diverse hiring and failure to create an inclusive and supportive corporate culture in tech companies has had dire consequences,” according to the letter. “While the African American inclusion numbers at most tech companies continue to be unacceptably low, the retention of African Americans at these companies, and the climate for the employees who remain, is much worse.”
Reps. Lee, Butterfield, and Cleaver are members of the CBC Diversity Task Force, which previously sent a letter to the CEOs of Uber and Lyft, outlining concerns following a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research that documented evidence of discrimination against African American customers attempting to use ride-share services as a means of transportation.