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Diversity Within California Tech Industries

JEDE Committee Seeking Input from Stakeholders and the Public

The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy is investigating the issue of diversity within workforce and business ownership structure of high technology industries in California.

In undertaking this work, the Committee has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to provide an opportunity for the public, organizations, and businesses to identify public and private actions that have the potential to facilitate greater participation of underrepresented populations on corporate boards, within entry level, advanced, and senior management positions, as vendors, and within related financial entities.

Information gained through the RFI and related work will be used to inform public policy and legislative engagement with the business sectors.

Information is being requested on the following:

  1. The composition of the workforce in high technology-based industries, with a focus on regions where these firms play a dominant economic roll.  Relevant information includes the race, ethnicity, age, and gender.  Information can be displayed at either a per-firm basis, or at the aggregate level by size of business, NAISC, and/or other distinguishing features.
  1. Workforce requirements for entry level positions in high technology firms, including educational and skill-level requirements.
  1. Workforce development programs established by firms to address the lack of diversity within the workforce, including numbers of participants, outreach, and outcomes.
  1. Partnerships with local workforce development boards, community colleges, and other entities to establish specific career pathways for employment and business development opportunities in high technology firms in California and other areas of the United States.
  1. The composition of firms within the technology supply chain, with a focus on small businesses.  Relevant information includes the race, ethnicity, age, and gender of managers and owners.
  1. The composition of executive management and corporate boards in high technology firms headquartered in California and other areas of the United States.  Relevant information includes the race, ethnicity, age, and gender of management and board membership.
  1. Recommendations on the types of public policy actions that would facilitate greater participation of underrepresented populations on corporate broads, within entry level, advanced, and senior management positions, as vendors, and within the finance sector serving high-technology firms.

Stakeholder Roundtable on Diversity within Venture Capital

On Wednesday, October 26, 2016, the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE) convened a roundtable on current efforts within California’s venture capital industry to promote diversity in hiring practices, and in investments extended to portfolio company founders, and executive teams (the VC Roundtable).

The VC Roundtable provided an opportunity for senior staff within the California Legislature to engage with and to learn more about the steps that California’s venture capital industry leaders have undertaken to promote diversity.  Information gained through this event will be used by the JEDE Committee to develop and analyze legislation and regulations, as well as contributing to the JEDE Committee's broader investigation into diversity within the high technology industry sectors.

During the course of the discussion, participants were briefed on the current market conditions in which the venture capital industry operates, trends affecting future growth, and actions being taken by industry leader to increase diversity and prepare for demographic changes in the global marketplace. 

This agenda and memorandum provides general information on the state economy, the structure of the roundtable discussion, background on participants, and key policy issues.   

Submittals from Roundtable participants:

DBL Partners is a double bottom line venture capital firm that is dedicated to investing that optimizes both financial return (First Bottom Line) and positive social impact, including social, environmental and regional economic benefits (Second Bottom Line). The firm focuses on sustainable energy, products and services, digital media and imaging, health care, and IT.  The DBL Partners portflio includes or has included leadign companies in these areas, including Pandora Media (NYSE:P), SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), Revolution Foods, SpaceX, Mapbox, and many others, which have created more than 45,000 jobs.

Fairview Capital Partners is a private equity investment management firm responsible for the management of $3.7 billion.  Areas of focus include venture capital / growth equity, small to mid-market buyout, emerging managers, co-investment and frontier markets.  In 2016, Fairview Capital Partners produced a market review of woman and minority-owned private equity firms and an assessment of the value of ethnic and gender diversity in private equity and venture capital.

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