TaskRabbit joins Black Caucus effort to boost tech industry diversity

TaskRabbit joins Black Caucus effort to boost tech industry diversity

The startup TaskRabbit is becoming the first company to partner with the Congressional Black Caucus to adopt a plan and goals for hiring more African-American employees.

The announcement of the four-part plan came a little less than a week after the company named Stacy Brown-Philpot as CEO of the company. She is one of the few African-American CEOs at a prominent tech startup. 

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“Today, TaskRabbit becomes the first technology company to take an important step by announcing a plan, with measurable goals, to increase African American inclusion in the company,” Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldDemocrats call for increased security after 'send her back' chants The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (D-N.C.) said in a statement. “We call on other tech companies to get off the sidelines and work with the CBC to develop African American Inclusion Plans.”

The caucus has been pressuring technology companies to adopt similar plans through its CBC Tech 2020 initiative

TaskRabbit is part of the so-called gig economy. It offers a way for people online to easily hire someone for a few hours of work or an odd job, like delivery, home cleaning or handiwork. 

As part of the plan, the company will try to increase its African-American employment to 13.2 percent by the end of the year. 

It will also take a look at the demographics of the 50,000 people who use the app to try and find odd jobs but who are not employees of the company. The plan will also include a mentorship program, unconscious bias training and advocacy. 

The company already bills itself as diverse. Its employees are 58 percent female, 11 percent African-American, 11 percent Asian and 11 percent LGBTQ. One of its least represented groups is Hispanics, with 5 percent. About 17 percent of Americans identify as Hispanic. 

Though TaskRabbit is the first company to sign onto the CBC plan, a handful of nonprofit groups have also joined. 

“Underrepresentation of minorities and women has run rampant within the tech industry for decades, and though companies have continued to discuss the issue, creating new roles to address disappointing hiring statistics, the problem still persists,” the company said in a blog post.