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Internet Association Releases Second Annual Industry-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Report

It is vital that our industry fosters diversity within its own bounds while also pushing to expand the frontiers of inclusivity in the broader community.” – K. Dane Snowden

Washington, DC – Today, Internet Association (IA) announced the release of its second annual Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Benchmark Report. The report was compiled by economist Nyamekye Asare via the Sadie Collective, a nonprofit focused on expanding representation of Black women in the quantitative fields.

Announcing the report, IA President and CEO K. Dane Snowden said, “As the industry continues to grow at an exceptional pace, it must cultivate an environment that prioritizes equity both internally and externally. The themes of innovation and progress lie at the very heart of internet companies. It is vital that our industry fosters diversity within its own bounds while also pushing to expand the frontiers of inclusivity in the broader community.”

Commenting on the IA’s Benchmark Report, U.S. Representatives Alma Adams and French Hill, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus said, “The Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus welcomes the efforts of the Internet Association in releasing their second annual Diversity and Inclusion Benchmark Report. Diversity and Inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are key to ensuring economic progress that is widely shared by all, and the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus emphasizes the importance of strategic engagement with HBCUs as the foundation of that principle. The Internet Association’s yearly assessment and tracking of these data points is crucial to make these efforts the norm – it is our hope that their example is replicated across not only the tech sector, but the entire workforce.”

Following in the footsteps of IA’s premier report in 2019, the 2020 report analyzes workforce diversity of IA’s member companies through an array of traditional D&I measures as well added considerations for the year’s unprecedented circumstances. In addition, IA’s targeted efforts for this iteration aim to establish consistency in workforce terminology. IA anticipates that by forging consistency in language, the internet community will gain a more accurate perspective on areas of strength and areas for potential improvement. 

Led by Sean Perryman, IA’s Director of Social Impact, this joint effort between IA and its member companies allows for the collection of a wide range of data which can be used to affect both short- and long-term change. The internet industry is constantly analyzing how to implement data-informed best practices and this report provides a remarkable moment for internet companies of all shapes and sizes to come together and examine how they can better serve their staff and their communities. 

Highlights of the 2020 report: 

  • On average, member company D&I budgets doubled from 2019 to 2020.
  • Member companies demonstrated a 30% increase in their philanthropy to organizations serving underrepresented communities.
  • Industry job recruiting from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) increased by over 20%. 
  • Due to the collaborative efforts of the FCC and IA, member company tracking of diversity within supplier communities rose by 21%.

In IA’s endeavor to tailor data collection for each given year, the 2020 review included examination of how changes in immigration policies impact the diversity goals of our member companies. Collected information demonstrates that nearly half of IA member companies experienced difficulty hiring H-1B visa holders due to immigration freezes implemented by the Trump administration. Pressing onward, IA reiterates that hiring diverse candidates from in and outside of the United States only helps American businesses flourish. IA members continue to prioritize maintaining a workforce that is as globally diverse as their users. The industry hopes to refocus on policies which openly allow for the acquisition of the best and brightest minds from around the world.

Furthermore, IA members reaffirm a strong commitment to racial justice. In June 2020, IA released a number of federal policy recommendations in order to promote systemic change in policing, incarceration, and law enforcement. Additional efforts were made to improve and refine hiring prospects for students from underrepresented communities. Moving forward, IA and its members will expand efforts in opportunity creation for individuals of all backgrounds while also making these opportunities more accessible for educational institutions, professional recruiters, and the general public. Read the full report and explore more on IA’s updated Diversity and Inclusion webpage.