Framework committed to changing industry data standards in diversity, equity, and inclusion, launches in collaboration with tech companies
Contact: Victoria Comella
ASPEN, CO – March 28, 2023 – To further the work of the 2021 Action to Catalyze Tech (ACT) Report, the Tech Accountability Coalition (“Coalition”), a new initiative being incubated by Aspen Digital, announces the first-ever Equity Framework. The Equity Framework lays out common sense standards for how to define terms, collect data, and share progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), creating a practical roadmap for improvement across the tech industry.
“The Tech Accountability Coalition’s goal is to change the narrative around DEI in tech, by making equity the industry standard and building innovative solutions to create a fairer world,” said Shijuade Kadree, Director of the Tech Accountability Coalition at Aspen Digital.
The Tech Accountability Coalition was created in 2022 after Aspen Digital, a future-focused policy program of the Aspen Institute, collaborated with Snap Inc., PwC, and NCWIT to convene a coalition of 29 leading DEI experts from academia and tech to release the ACT Report. This resource calls on tech companies to commit to bold, collective action by open-sourcing best practices, encouraging collaboration on systemic solutions, and increasing accountability. When the report was published in 2021, more than 30 CEOs and executives from leading technology organizations – including Airbnb, Apple, Dropbox, Etsy, Google, Intel, LinkedIn, Twitter, Salesforce, Spotify, and Uber – committed to being founding signatories, pledging to hold themselves and their companies accountable to accelerate progress toward DEI success.
Since then, the Coalition has held conversations with over 100 tech leaders, experts, and community advocates to create a shared set of standards to turn aspirational diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments into transformation. The result is the Equity Framework, which creates shared definitions, sets standards and goals, and provides a benchmark for data on DEI metrics industry-wide.
With the Equity Framework, tech companies will securely share data on what’s driving progress, and what challenges are getting in the way. The Coalition has partnered with People & DEI Analytics firm eqtble to build a platform for companies to easily and directly share relevant data in alignment with the Framework. eqtble will also provide comprehensive data insights and benchmarks about the state of DEI in tech.
Using this aggregate data, the Coalition will highlight case studies and best practices for responding to the data learnings, helping to take the guesswork out of achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion. As part of this effort, the Coalition will also host working groups on public policy, data equity, product inclusion, workforce pathways, and workplace culture. To further guide and support this work, the Coalition has established an Advisory Council of key stakeholders, thought leaders, and drivers of DEI in the tech ecosystem.
Companies can join the Tech Accountability Coalition as founding members by visiting www.TechAccountabilityCoalition.org. Founding members must agree to become a signatory of the Action to Catalyze Tech Report, as well as annually report data as outlined in the Framework to the best of their abilities, to be published in aggregate, and support further collective industry action. They will set the Coalition’s strategy and priorities.
“The Equity Framework has been created because we are in a critical moment for tech,” said Kadree. “The industry needs a reliable way to measure their progress toward building a more diverse and inclusive future, making equity a real outcome and not just an aspiration. And that’s what the Equity Framework provides. The launch of this Framework is the beginning of building accountability and seeing tech companies come to the table to champion equity industry-wide.”
The Coalition will provide guidance, support, and tools to ensure data submission is as seamless as possible. By analyzing the submitted data, the Coalition intends to publish a first-of-its-kind benchmark report at the end of each year.
The Tech Accountability Coalition was co-created in partnership with tech companies, trusted organizations from underrepresented communities, academic institutions, and think tanks. The Coalition’s approach lays the foundation to track, measure, and accele rate DEI at an industry level. Over time, they will release key insights to improve transparency and trust in tech and unify under collective goals, providing a model for others to follow.
ABOUT ASPEN DIGITAL
Aspen Digital is a nonpartisan technology and information-focused organization that brings together thinkers and doers to uncover new ideas and spark policies, processes, and procedures that empower communities and strengthen democracy. This future-focused Aspen Institute program inspires collaboration among diverse voices from industry, government, and civil society to ensure our interconnected world is accessible, safe, and inclusive – both online and off. Across its initiatives, Aspen Digital develops methods for elevating promising solutions and turning thought into networked impact. To learn more, visit aspeninstitute.org/programs/aspendigital/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE ASPEN INSTITUTE
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org. For more information about the Accelerator, visit www.digitalequityaccelerator.org.