Over 80 venture capitalists and entrepreneurs recently joined a new initiative aimed to “boost diversity and inclusion efforts and civic engagement between the growing technology industry in Los Angeles and the community that surrounds it.” The new program, called PledgeLA connects LA’s mayor Eric Garcetti, large corporations, and
the non-profit Annenberg Foundation in an attempt to ensure that underrepresented peoples are included in all opportunities moving forward.
The initiative is a bit of an answer to the current issues plaguing Silicon Valley and San Francisco surrounding diversity and inclusion. Los Angeles, in PledgeLA wants to build a longstanding relationship between corporations and the surrounding city which houses a diverse population.
“Over the past five years, Los Angeles has emerged as one of the top five destinations in the U.S. for technology investment and corporate development. It’s one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the country with the 100 largest tech companies in L.A. and Orange County reporting a 24 percent increase in employment from the previous year, according to data provided by the Annenberg Foundation.”
The companies supporting the initiative will be required to track “civic participation and diversity data each year and to make that data publicly available. The metrics that signatories will track include community engagement statistics like participation in mentorship programs, volunteering, board service, offering internships, using local banks, giving preference to vendors owned by women or minorities, dedicating a portion of annual spending to local impact initiatives, and investing in local Los Angeles startups.”
This is a great first step and will go a long way in collecting necessary data to hopefully improve the hiring practices of all companies in the Los Angeles area. Nothing has been discussed about the skill pipeline as of yet, but as the initiative grows, we will see how they handle connecting with underrepresented groups which may currently be housed in areas outside the LA scope.