Uber donates $3M to supporting minorities in tech

Uber donates $3M to supporting minorities in tech
© Greg Nash

Uber announced on Tuesday a new $3 million initiative to support groups trying to bolster underrepresented minorities’ presence in the technology sector.  

The ride-hailing company did not specify what companies would be receiving the money, but noted that “employees will be crucial in deciding which organizations we partner with."

Uber also noted that it would increase its recruitment efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

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The announcements also coincided with the release of Uber’s report on internal diversity numbers. According to the company’s findings, 41 percent of hires last year were women, bumping their representation at the company up by 5 percent overall. Women make up roughly 36 percent of Uber’s employees and 22 percent of company leadership.

The report also noted slight hiring increases — in the 2 percent to 3 percent range — for black and hispanic individuals.

“​This report is a first step in showing that diversity and inclusion is a priority at Uber,” said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in a statement. “I know that we have been too slow in publishing our numbers—and that the best way to demonstrate our commitment to change is through transparency. And to make progress, it’s important we measure what matters.”

Uber has come under fire for how women were treated in the company after Susan Fowler, a former employee, wrote a scathing blog post detailing how her reports of sexual assault were allegedly silenced and discredited. Uber hired former Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderFBI director defends agency after Trump attacks: It's an 'honor to represent you' FBI agents fire back at Trump: Saying we're not dedicated is 'simply false' Holder hits back at Trump: The FBI’s reputation is not in 'tatters' MORE to launch an independent investigation on the matter.

Uber’s push for diversity comes amid industrywide efforts to bolster representation of different groups in Silicon Valley, which has historically been overwhelming white and male.

Earlier in the month, Google and Howard University announced the creation of the Howard West campus, a summer program in which Howard computer science students spend a summer at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.  

Despite the pushes, most companies have been coming up short, failing to achieve substantive increases in diversity or failing retain hires from underrepresented groups.