Congressional Black Caucus calls on Uber to hire executives of color

Greg Nash

A group of black lawmakers in Congress is pushing Uber to hire more people of color for executive roles at the ride-hailing company.

In a letter addressed to the San Francisco-based ride-hailing and autonomous car company, the Congressional Black Caucus suggested that Uber’s recent slew of executive departures offered an opportunity for the company to boost its ailing diversity.

{mosads}“Recent reports suggest that Uber has vacancies for several of its most senior positions,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter led by Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). 

“These transitions present Uber with the opportunity to improve the culture of the company by diversifying its Board,” they continued.

After a steady stream of PR debacles, many Uber executives have left, leaving open many top positions including CEO, which Travis Kalanick just stepped down from last week, COO and others.

The CBC has criticized other technology companies in the past for their lackluster track records on diversity. In 2015, it launched a campaign called Tech 2020 aimed at ameliorating the underrepresentation of people of color in the technology industry.

“Among the tech industry, Uber is not alone in its need to improve hiring, retention, promotion, and inclusion of African Americans,” the CBC wrote on Monday. “However, as a company that seeks to ‘create possibilities for riders, drivers, and cities,’ we encourage you to use this moment to emerge as a leader on diversity and inclusion and set a standard that your peers should emulate.”

A committee aide told The Hill that the letter was just the start of a renewed push for the Tech 2020 campaign.

Uber’s lagging diversity extends beyond the company’s board and executives. Data provided by the ridesharing company in March showed that the company’s employees are roughly 50 percent white and only 9 percent black. In leadership roles, women only took roughly 22 percent of the spots.

“We’re committed to making Uber a more diverse and inclusive workplace at all levels of the organization, and we’ll continue to engage with community leaders like the CBC as we work to achieve this important goal,” Uber said in a statement responding to the letter.

This story was updated at 3:45 p.m.

Tags G.K. Butterfield

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