The Los Angeles tech community is making a commitment to improving diversity and inclusion at all levels of the ecosystem through PledgeLA—a new initiative announced this week working to bring a more inclusive and diverse approach to recruitment and retention in technology.
Launched in partnership with Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, the Annenberg Foundation, and over 80 venture capital and tech leaders, PledgeLA signatories plan to expand community engagement with local tech nonprofit organizations and release diversity data annually.
“Our City’s diversity is our competitive advantage, so we are always looking around the corner for ways to ensure every Angeleno has a chance to succeed in the industries of tomorrow,” said Mayor Garcetti in a news release.
The tech industry in the Los Angeles area is rapidly growing. A new report analyzed 177 Los Angeles-based tech companies and found the tech industry—nicknamed Silicon Beach—to be worth more than an estimated $155 billion.
Between 2013 and 2017, the area saw a 120 percent increase in venture capital funding and the 100 largest tech companies across L.A. and Orange County reported a 24 percent increase in employment from the previous year, according to data collected by the Annenberg Foundation
“L.A.’s tech growth is no accident— it is a tribute to our region’s tradition of creativity, leadership in innovation, and wealth of talent,” said Garcetti. “With PledgeLA, we will promote transparency in a growing sector and open the doors of opportunity to our diverse base of workers, no matter their race, gender, or background.”
Despite the growth, the diverse tech workers remain underrepresented across the local tech sector. PledgeLA signatories will kick-off the initiative by gathering data to establish a baseline of community engagement and better understand the demographics of the local ecosystem.
The Annenberg Foundation and Mayor’s Office will then work with the sector to determine a clear action plan and help funders and companies connect to the existing and growing pipeline of diverse talent.
“We know companies with a diverse workforce are more successful, which, in turn, increases community engagement and provides opportunities for the community-at-large,” said PledgeLA signatory and Upfront Ventures Partner, Kobie Fuller. “PledgeLA will put Los Angeles on the right trajectory.”