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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.

Key Findings

IA’s D&I Benchmark Report found:

  • The majority (70 percent) of IA members companies have an appointed D&I head with direct reports and dedicated D&I budgets.1
  • 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 recognize the moral and financial imperative of having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community and its users. Collective action from the industry is necessary to pave a way forward for established internet companies that need to retain diverse talent and for younger companies that may have more limited resources to attract diverse talent.

According to GAO, the diversity of the tech workforce remained stagnant over the last decade2.

  • The percentage of women tech workers remained the same from 2005-20153.
  • The representation of underrepresented groups slightly increased from 2005-20154.

The internet industry is young compared to other industries. On average, IA member companies are under 10 years old and typically fall within the early growth or growth stage companies as outlined by the FCC Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment5.

Early Growth Stage

  • Started developing an organizational approach to diversity
  • Has an organized recruitment outreach and/or pipeline development program and partnerships with civic organizations, schools, colleges, and universities
  • Tracks and/or reports race, gender, and other demographic information
  • Has established employee resource or affinity groups
  • May or may not have a supplier diversity program

IA members do not perfectly fit in any one definition of “growth companies” but they are all committed to improve the diversity within their company. IA and its members will examine successful existing programs to develop evidence-based standards and best practices for internet companies based on their size and age — as opposed to a one size fits all approach.

The internet industry recognizes that more work remains to be done to address this important issue, and will continue to invest in resources and partnerships to help promote diversity and inclusivity in the workforce.

  1. Of member companies that participated in the report
  2. Source: GAO analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Public Use Microdata Sample data from the U.S. Census Bureau. | GAO- 18-69
  3. 22%
  4. 26%-33%
  5. Source: GAO analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Public Use Microdata Sample data from the U.S. Census Bureau. | GAO- 18-69