Tech industry 2020 anti-racism commitments: Progress check

Demonstrators gather at the Lincoln Memorial during a protest against police brutality and racism on June 6, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee

Last June, social media feeds became flooded with corporate statements about how companies would promote racial equity within and beyond their workforce. The commitments came after the police murder of George Floyd sparked protests around the country.

One year after those initial statements, many tech companies seem to have met several of their initial goals while promising to expand their commitments to diversity and inclusion efforts and racial justice causes.

Here’s how some of tech’s biggest players stacked up:

Airbnb

2020 commitment: Airbnb said it would donate a total of $500,000 to the NAACP and the Black Lives Matter Foundation. It also said it would match employee donations to both groups.

The company also said that by the end of 2021, 20% of its board of directors and executive team collectively would be made up of people of color. By the end of 2025, Airbnb said, its goal is to have 20% of U.S. employees be underrepresented minorities and for 50% of global employees who identify in the gender binary to be women.

Airbnb also said each member of its executive team would create and share a detailed plan to meet those goals with their teams.

2021 progress: Airbnb said it’s donated $1 million over the last year to organizations, including its $500,000 commitment to the NAACP and the Black Lives Matter Foundation. Airbnb also gave funds to Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The company said it matched employee donations to these groups and others, though it did not disclose the amount.

Airbnb said in its Q4 2020 shareholder letter that as of December 12.3% of its U.S.-based employees are underrepresented minorities and 47% of its global employees identify as women. It did not respond to a request for an update to its commitment to diversity among its board and execs.

Other notable updates: Airbnb plans to make Juneteenth a paid company holiday beginning this year.

Amazon

2020 commitment: Donate a total of $10 million to several organizations selected by its Black Employee Network that focus on fighting systemic racism or seek to expand education and economic opportunities for Black communities.

2021 progress: Amazon said that as of July 2020 it had donated $27 million to the organizations it identified, which includes the initial $10 million donation plus $8.5 million in employee donations and a match from the company.

Other notable updates: Amazon said it’s doubled the representation of Black directors and vice presidents in its ranks. The company’s workforce stats show that as of the end of 2020, 3.8% of senior leaders in the company were Black, compared with 1.9% in 2019 and 1.5% in 2018.

Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address during the 2020 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

Brooks Kraft/Apple Inc/Handout via Reuters

2020 commitment: Invest $100 million in efforts to create opportunities for communities of color, including through education, economic equality and criminal justice reform as part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. As part of REJI, Apple said it would increase its spending with Black-owned suppliers and add 10 regional coding centers at historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.

CEO Tim Cook also said shortly after Floyd’s death that Apple would donate an unspecified amount to groups including the Equal Justice Initiative and match two for one all employee donations made in June 2020. Cook also told employees Apple would “reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored.”

2021 progress: In January, Apple announced the launch of several projects related to its $100 million commitment through REJI.

Apple said $25 million would go toward creating the Propel Center, a global innovation hub for HBCUs meant to “support the next generation of diverse leaders” through tech curricula. It’s expected to break ground later this year.

Apple also announced a new Apple Developer Academy in Detroit to help Black entrepreneurs and coders gain skills, in a collaboration with Michigan State University. 

It announced two investments in venture capital and banking: a $10 million investment with early stage VC firm Harlem Capital to support investments in 1,000 companies over 20 years, and a $25 million investment in Siebert Williams Shank & Co.’s Clear Vision Impact Fund, which invests in small and medium-size businesses with a focus on minority-owned companies.

Other notable updates: The share of Black employees in Apple’s overall workforce has remained at 9% since 2016, according to the company’s latest diversity report. Black representation in leadership was 4% in 2020, the same as in 2019.

Box

2020 commitment: Box CEO Aaron Levie pledged to donate $500,000 to groups fighting racial injustice. Box said in a statement at the time that it was “committed to financially supporting nonprofit organizations working toward improving racial equality.”

2021 progress: A Box spokesperson confirmed Levie and his wife, Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson, donated more than $500,000 to about 10 justice reform organizations.

Since the summer of 2020, Box said it has donated $200,000 through its Box.org fund to the Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Black Visions Collective and Gideon’s Army. Box said its Black Excellence Network employee resource group helped select the organizations that would be most impactful in working toward racial justice. The company also said it raised $70,000 in employee donations to support racial justice initiatives. 

More recently, Box committed $100,000 to support AAPI organizations following the Atlanta spa shootings and uptick in anti-Asian violence.

Other notable updates: Box partnered with HBCUs to help it diversify recruiting, including a partnership with Spelman College for its summer 2021 internship program.

Cisco

2020 commitment: Cisco said it would donate $5 million to groups including the Equal Justice Initiative, the Black Lives Matter Foundation and its own fund to fight racism and discrimination. 

The company also outlined 12 actions representing its commitment to the Black community, including:

  • Increasing representation of employees who identify as Black or African American by 25% at the entry-to-manager level and by 75% at the director-to-VP+ level by 2023. Cisco said this will serve as a “blueprint” to expand representation “across the full spectrum of diversity at every level.”
  • Increasing board diversity through succession planning and commitments to developing a diverse pipeline of talent.
  • Committing $50 million over 5 years to increase diversity of its partner ecosystem.
  • Launching a $50 million venture fund to invest in funds and start-ups with diverse founders and leadership teams. 

2021 progress: Of its $5 million commitment, Cisco said it donated $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, $1 million to the Equal Justice Initiative and $76,000 to nonprofits identified as part of Cisco’s Fighting Racism and Discrimination Fund. The roughly $2 million remaining has not yet been distributed, and Cisco said it’s working on identifying partners.  

On top of the $5 million commitment, Cisco employees also gave $800,000 to groups in the Fighting Racism and Discrimination Fund, which Cisco matched.

It has also made some progress on its other goals, including:

  • Cisco said it’s seen a 12% increase in Black employees up through the senior manager level, a 41% increase at the director level and more than 100% increase in the number of Black VPs since fiscal year 2021 began in July.
  • In January, Cisco announced the appointment of John D. Harris II, former CEO of Raytheon International and a prominent Black executive, to its board of directors.
  • A Cisco spokesperson said its plans to commit $50 million over five years to increase the diversity of its partner ecosystem is still in an early stage but in active development. The company said it created the internal African American Cisco Ecosystem program office this year, launching a pilot with eight Black-owned companies to help steer new executive engagements and identify investment needs. 
  • A spokesperson said Cisco is still finalizing several investments and is not yet ready to publicly provide an update on the $50 million venture fund. 

Comcast

2020 commitment: Comcast announced a multiyear plan to allocate $100 million to fight injustice and inequality. That commitment included $75 million in cash and $25 million in media to be distributed over three years.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a blog post at the time that efforts would focus on partnering with and supporting groups working to end injustice and inequality, accelerating diversity and inclusion efforts including through hiring and training, highlighting Black voices through media channels, addressing digital inequity through connectivity and educational investments, and supporting small businesses run by people of color.

2021 progress: Comcast provided a public update on its commitment in February. It said it had expanded its low-cost Internet Essentials program and committed to launching by the end of 2021 more than 1,000 new Lift Zones, which are community centers it provides with WiFi. It also expanded partnerships with groups that provide educational resources to students, such as Black Girls Code.

Through Comcast’s new RISE initiative, the company awarded marketing and technology resources to more than 700 Black-owned small businesses. Comcast also launched the RISE Investment Fund to give $5 million in grants to hundreds of minority-owned small businesses.

Comcast announced partnerships and plans to make content with Black creators including LeBron James and Ava DuVernay. It also launched Black Experience, a hub for Black entertainment, on the Xfinity Channel in February. Comcast said it would invest millions of dollars to showcase emerging Black creators on the platform.

The company also launched NBCU Academy with 17 academic partners including HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions, or HSIs, and colleges with significant minority populations.

Other notable updates: Beyond the $100 million commitment, Comcast has since committed $1 billion over 10 years to help close the digital divide between high- and low-income communities.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.

Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Chesnot | Getty Images News | Getty Images

2020 commitment: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to review the company’s policies about state use of force, specifically around excessive use of police or state force and around ongoing civil unrest. Zuckerberg also said Facebook would review its policies around voter suppression, its options for handling content that violates its standards besides fully removing it and transparency around decision-making. He said he’s committed to getting the right voices at the table and building products that could help advance racial justice.

The company made several financial commitments, including:

To diversify its platform and employee base, Facebook set the following goals:

  • Over three years, reach 1 million members of the Black community and 1 million members of the Latino community in the U.S. through Elevate, a program providing free digital skills training. 
  • Give 100,000 scholarships to Black students working on digital certifications through the Facebook Blueprint program.
  • Make a new Lift Black Voices section on its app and surface accounts about racial justice action on Instagram search.  
  • Diversify staff with 30% more people of color including 30% more Black people in leadership roles over five years.

2021 progress: Facebook developed new content policies for periods of civil unrest, including designating locations as “Temporary High Risk Locations” when there is a risk of violence. Facebook took a proactive approach to moderation and made users aware of its heightened attention to policy violations ahead of the expected verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. 

The company also came up with a framework to inform policies around state actors calling for violence against civilians, which involves assessing the risk of the content contributing to violence compared with the benefit of allowing other users to see it and protect themselves. 

Here’s how Facebook did on its financial commitments:

  • Facebook said in a February update that as part of its $100 million commitment to Black-owned businesses, creators and nonprofits, it had so far allocated or funded $40 million in grants and ad credits to over 10,000 such entities in the U.S. and released additional resources.
  • It distributed $20 million in grants to 20 community foundations that will disburse funds to local nonprofits serving Black communities.
  • A spokesperson said Facebook is on track to meet its goal of spending at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers this year, with $100 million of that being with Black-owned suppliers.
  • The company also said it donated $10 million to 36 U.S. nonprofits nominated by Facebook employees that are working to address system barriers to racial equity. 
  • Facebook said it’s on track to spend the full $10 million of its commitment to the Black Gaming Creator Program over two years and to spend the $25 million it pledged to support Black content creators by the end of 2021.

On its diversity and skills-building goals, Facebook said it’s made the following progress:

  • Facebook’s digital skills training program, Elevate, is on track to reach its goals of giving 100,000 scholarships to Black learners and reaching 1 million members each in the Black and Latino communities by 2023, a spokesperson confirmed.
  • Facebook launched its Lift Black Voices hub, which featured content about the Black diaspora during Black History Month.
  • Facebook said it would release its latest diversity numbers this summer. Last fall, it created a Diversity Advisory Council made up of a group of diverse employees who meet quarterly to discuss content policies, products and other programs.

Other notable updates: Facebook announced in January that civil rights attorney Roy Austin would join the company in a new VP of civil rights role.

Google

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc., gestures while speaking during a discussion on artificial intelligence at the Bruegel European economic think tank in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. Pichai urged the U.S. and European Union to coordinate regulatory approaches on artificial intelligence, calling their alignment critical.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert | Bloomberg | Getty Images

2020 commitment: Google made several financial commitments, including:

  • Pledging $12 million in funding to organizations seeking to address racial inequalities and $25 million in ad grants to such groups. 
  • Matching employee donations. 
  • Pledging about $3 million to help close the education gap in computer science and increase Black representation in STEM.
  • Donating $250,000 to Black in AI, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase the presence of Black people in the field of artificial intelligence.
  • Spending at least $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers each year, including $100 million with Black-owned businesses, beginning in 2021.
  • Implementing a $175 million “economic opportunity package” to support Black business owners, developers and job seekers, including $100 million for Black-led capital firms, start-ups and groups supporting Black entrepreneurs.
  • Its YouTube division committing $1 million to the Center for Policing Equity.
  • YouTube creating a $100 million fund to amplify Black creators and artists.

Google also made several diversity-related commitments, including:

  • Improving representation of underrepresented groups in leadership by 30% by 2025.
  • More than doubling the number of Black workers at non-senior levels by 2025.
  • Addressing representation issues in hiring, retention and promotion with the help of a new talent liaison within each product and functional area tasked with advocating for the advancement of employees from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Improving the sense of inclusion for the Black community at Google, including through ending the practice of employees checking other employees’ badges once they return to the office.
  • Creating anti-racism education for all employees.
  • Establishing better support for mental and physical health for Black employees.

2021 progress: Google did not respond to requests for updates on several of its commitments, but it has laid out some of its progress in blog posts:

  • Through its partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network, Google said in October it had allocated over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses out of its $50 million pledge.
  • It said at the time it had selected 76 founders to receive funds from its $5 million U.S. Black Founders fund. It created a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europe for Black founders outside the U.S.
  • Almost the full $12 million supporting racial justice groups had been distributed by October. Google sent pro bono engineers to help the Center for Policing Equity to expand its National Justice Database.
  • YouTube announced its first investments from the $100 million fund to amplify Black creators.
  • Google announced this month 30 start-ups that would receive funding from its $2 million Black Founders Fund.
  • In a May update, Google said it had committed $60 million of capital from its $100 million fund to Black-led organizations and would invest the remaining $40 million in Black-led start-ups and investment firms by the end of the year.

A Google spokesperson said the company plans to release its diversity report soon but disclosed that 2020 was its biggest year for hiring Black workers in the U.S. Google said Black workers represented 8.77% of U.S. hiring in 2020 compared with 5.5% in 2019.

Other notable updates:

Following CNBC’s reporting that found problems within the company’s highly promoted HBCU program Tech Exchange, Google in February announced Pathways to Tech, a program partnering with HBCUs to create equitable computing education and help job seekers find roles.

Intel

2020 commitment: Intel pledged $1 million to support nonprofits and community organizations addressing social injustice and promoting anti-racism. 

Then-CEO Bob Swan urged employees to donate to organizations such as the Black Lives Matter Foundation, Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which he said were all eligible for Intel’s donation matching program.

In December, Intel added a commitment to increase by 30% representation of Black employees in senior, director and executive roles in the U.S. by the end of 2023.

2021 progress: Intel said it gave $1.2 million in its first anti-racism and social equity grants to organizations including UNESCO, the Obama Foundation and the Greater Houston Community Foundation last year.

Intel said it donated $800,000 total as part of its employee match program, including to organizations such as Amnesty International, Center for Policing Equity, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Urban League.

A spokesperson said the company would provide an update on its internal diversity metrics in December when it releases its annual diversity and inclusion report.

Other notable updates: Earlier this year, Intel committed to spend $5 million over five years to create a tech law and policy center at North Carolina Central University, an HBCU.

Lyft

2020 commitment: Lyft pledged $500,000 in ride credits to the National Urban League, NAACP, National Action Network, Black Women’s Roundtable and National Bail Fund Network. It also said it would donate additional credits to the Lake Street Council in Minneapolis to help volunteers working on rebuilding efforts. 

The company said it would conduct internal conversations about “allyship” and bring company leaders together to discuss how to make the platform more inclusive. It committed to growing inclusion and diversity efforts to promote underrepresented talent within the company, expanding external partnerships focused on racial justice and listening to people of color within its own ranks to find other ways to “be a bigger part of the solution.”

2021 progress: Lyft published its first joint report on diversity and inclusion and racial equity at the company, which revealed 7.6% of its U.S. workforce identified as Black or African American in 2020, down from 9% in 2019. The percentage of people identifying as Black or African American in leadership roles grew slightly, from 4.8% in 2019 to 5.4% to 2020. Lyft acknowledged in the report that its diversity hiring plans were complicated by the economic disruption of the pandemic, since it had to restructure parts of the business and reduce overall hiring.

The company has outlined several efforts it believes will expand its ability to hire diverse talent. That includes increased recruitment efforts at HBCUs, which it credited for increasing representation of Black and Latino interns to 38% in summer 2021, up from 26% in 2020. Lyft said it’s also partnered with several outside groups to grow its talent pipeline. 

It also launched a program to pair Black and Latino directors with members of its executive leadership team. It created its first internal racial equity objectives to measure progress on key metrics and said it’s on track to meet 30 of those 34 objectives.

Externally, Lyft created the LyftUp Access Alliance in partnership with groups such as the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and the National Urban League to provide 1.5 million free and discounted rides over five years to communities of color. The goal is to remove transportation as a barrier to economic mobility. Lyft estimated it provided access to more than 1 million free or discounted rides through the program in 2020. Other programs include providing rides to the polls on Election Day, piloting discounted rides to protest events while donating a portion of proceeds to national civil rights organizations, and the Know Your Rights Camp, the organization created by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, which educates drivers on their rights should they be pulled over by police.

Other notable updates: Lyft’s latest pay equity audit found no statistically significant pattern of pay disparities between gender or racial groups.

Microsoft

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Charles Pertwee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

2020 commitment: Microsoft said it would donate a total of $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project, The Leadership Conference, Minnesota Freedom Fund and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. It also said it would match employee donations to eligible organizations. 

Later, CEO Satya Nadella announced three additional areas of commitment:

1. Adding $150 million to invest in diversity and inclusion. Microsoft seeks to double the number of Black managers, senior individual contributors and senior leaders in the U.S. by 2025. To continue working on an inclusive culture, Microsoft made the following commitments:

  • Require training on being an ally and on privilege in the workplace for all employees beginning in fiscal year 2021. 
  • Better prepare employees for promotion, beginning with Black employees.
  • Build more accountability for representation into the evaluation process for high-level executives, which determines their rewards and promotion considerations.

2. Engaging suppliers and partners “to extend the vision for societal change” by:

  • Doubling the number of Black-owned approved suppliers over three years, spending an incremental $500 million with such existing and new suppliers and requesting annual diversity disclosures from its top 100 suppliers.
  • Doubling the percentage of transaction volumes through Black-owned banks and external managers over three years and creating a $100 million program to invest in Minority Depository Institutions, or MDIs, in collaboration with the FDIC and a $50 million investment fund to support Black-owned small businesses.
  • Increasing the number of Black-owned U.S. partners by 20% over three years and creating a $50 million partner fund to help provide loans to support partners.

3. Using technology and data to improve the lives of Black people across the U.S. and address the safety of Microsoft employees and their communities by:

  • Investing $50 million over five years in its existing justice reform initiative.
  • Giving $5 million in cash grants to community-based nonprofits supporting communities of color with digital skills programs.
  • Expanding broadband and device access to communities of color by providing affordable PCs and software, beginning with a focus on six cities with the largest urban broadband gaps.
  • Providing Azure and Dynamics credits and financial grants to nonprofits supporting or led by people of color.

2021 progress: A spokesperson for Microsoft said the company had made its $1.5 million donation to various racial justice groups and also saw an additional $11 million in employee plus company-matched donations to civil rights, social action and advocacy nonprofits since June 5, 2020.

Here’s how Microsoft has advanced on its other commitments:

1. Increasing representation and inclusion:

  • Microsoft did not say how much of its $150 million investment in diversity and inclusion efforts has been allocated, but its latest diversity report shows Microsoft slightly grew its percentage of Black employees in manager, individual contributor, director and partner goals, though all still account for less than 3% of those categories, except individual contributors, of whom 5.2% identified as Black or African American.
  • Microsoft said more than 90% of employees completed its mandatory ally learning content.
  • It said it launched new hiring interview guides so interviewers could better identify candidates with experience and commitment to inclusive cultures and “deepened” its practice of taking executives’ progress on D&I initiatives into account in evaluating promotions and rewards.

2. Engaging suppliers and partners:

  • Microsoft did not provide an update on several small business supplier-related goals, such as doubling the number of Black-owned suppliers it contracts with, but a spokesperson said more updates on its initiatives would be coming soon.
  • Microsoft partnered with the Southern Opportunity Resilience Fund to give flexible, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits with a focus on 13 states representing 52% of the country’s Black population.
  • It also partnered with Siebert Williams Shank & Co., a women- and minority-owned financial firm, to create the Clear Vision Impact Fund with a $25 million seed investment, to invest in small and medium-sized businesses with an emphasis on minority ownership. 
  • It made one of the first investments to the Entrepreneur Backed Assets Fund, which seeks to expand the ability of community-based financial institutions to lend to small businesses in low-income communities. 

3. Strengthening communities:

  • Microsoft said it had nearly reached its goal of adding 20 new partners in this fiscal year to reduce racial disparities in justice reform. 
  • The company said it has provided $2 million in grants to 12 HBCUs to strengthen partnerships and support curriculum development, scholarships and training.
  • It also said it’s launched four out of seven programs seeking to provide digital skills training for low-income families.

Netflix

2020 commitment: Netflix said it would move $100 million in deposits to financial institutions and organizations supporting Black U.S. communities and 2% of its cash holdings going forward. 

Netflix committed $5 million to nonprofits creating opportunities for the Black community and Black creators. The company said it would also match employee donations at 200%. 

The company added a Black Lives Matter collection as its own genre on the streaming platform in June 2020 to showcase Black storytelling. 

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced a donation of $1 million to the Center for Policing Equity. He and his wife also gave $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College.

2021 progress: Netflix has so far committed $70 million of the $100 million in deposits it had said it would make into financial institutions supporting the Black community.

Netflix disclosed $3 million of its initial donation, which went to several film-related organizations, the Know Your Rights Camp, the Posse Foundation and Black Girls Code. It did not disclose how much it raised through its employee match program. 

Other notable updates: In February, the company announced a $100 million Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, which will invest the funds over five years with external organizations serving underrepresented communities to set them up for success in TV and film.

Netflix also unveiled its first inclusion report in January, which found the number of its Black employees in the U.S. doubled in the last three years to 8%. At the director level and above, that number was 9%.

PayPal

2020 commitment: PayPal said it would give $535 million to support underserved communities and close the racial wealth gap.

2021 progress: PayPal said it’s put about $500 million of its commitment into action so far. Of that amount, it distributed $15 million in grants in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to nearly 1,400 Black-owned small businesses.

PayPal committed $5 million in grants to 20 U.S.-based nonprofits that seek to empower Black-owned businesses. PayPal said it matched two for one every dollar donated and $20 for every volunteer hour contributed to the nonprofits, up to $500,000. It said more than 200 employees contributed more than 600 hours last year and that the grants and funds went to more than 6,900 Black-owned businesses.

PayPal created a $500 million Economic Opportunity Fund for Black and Latino-led start-ups, venture investing and depository holdings in minority-owned banks and credit unions. From this fund, it deposited $50 million in Optus Bank in South Carolina, invested $50 million in Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Black Economic Development Fund and $50 million in eight early stage Black and Latino-led venture capital funds

PayPal said it moved $150 million to an underrepresented minority share class of Northern Trust Institutional Government Fund as it works to distribute the rest of the funds. It said the fund benefits the minority-owned broker dealer Siebert, Williams and Shank.

The company recently announced that it will deposit $135 million into financial institutions serving Black and underserved communities as part of its commitment.

PayPal also committed $15 million to enhancing diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging programming at the company. It entered into multiyear agreements with CodeHouse, INROADS and the National Association of Black Accountants to develop and hire talent from underrepresented groups. It also partnered with two HBCUs to research financial needs and product gaps for the Black community.

Other notable updates: On top of PayPal’s $535 million commitment, it made additional donations, including a $250,000 grant to create a New York Urban League Small Business Support Center to serve Black-owned small businesses in New York City impacted by Covid-19 and a $125,000 donation to Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Peloton

Peloton bike

Source: Peloton

2020 commitment: Peloton said it would donate $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and announced a broader “Peloton Pledge” to invest $100 million over four years “to fight racial injustice and inequity in our world and to promote health and wellbeing for all.” CEO John Foley announced five areas of focus for the pledge:

  1. Addressing global economic inequity, beginning with a $60 million investment to increase hourly wages for Peloton workers. Peloton raised pay by $3 for all North America- and Europe-based non-commissioned hourly workers, bringing Peloton’s starting hourly rate to $19.
  2. Addressing the job opportunity gap at Peloton by investing $20 million into learning and development programs with a focus on hourly workers.
  3. Supporting the fight against systemic racism by investing $20 million into nonprofit groups, expanding on its initial $500,000 donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
  4. Democratizing access to fitness and making its product more accessible to underserved communities with a goal of having at least 10% of classes taken by members of such communities in four years.
  5. Becoming an anti-racist organization by creating learning opportunities throughout the company, reviewing and reporting diversity data, conducting an inclusivity audit and instituting bias-mitigating strategies at key points such as hiring and promotions.

2021 progress: Peloton said it sent the $500,000 to the NAACP fund in June 2020. Here’s how Peloton has progressed on the five prongs of the Peloton Pledge:

  1. Peloton increased its hourly worker minimum wage to $19 beginning in July as part of its long-term investment toward addressing economic inequity. 
  2. Peloton has not yet provided an update on its $20 million commitment to address its own job opportunity gap.
  3. Peloton announced partnerships with nonprofits fighting systemic racism, though it did not provide an update on how much of the $20 million commitment has been disbursed to date.
  4. The company did not provide an update on whether it’s on track to meet its goal of having at least 10% of classes taken by members of underserved communities within four years.
  5. Peloton said it’s begun building relationships with 10 HBCUs with the goal of creating long-term recruiting partnerships, giving students at those schools two-year Peloton Digital memberships beginning last November. It updated its hiring referral practices to include anti-racist tenets and has invited its employee resource groups to welcome new team members during the onboarding process. Peloton also said in its January update it added Dr. Christal Morris as its SVP and global head of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Other notable updates: Peloton made Juneteenth a paid holiday beginning in 2020.

Reddit

2020 commitment: Reddit said it would update its content policy to better address hate on the platform. The company also said it would honor co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s request for the board to replace him with a Black candidate after he announced his resignation. 

2021 progress: Reddit instituted its new content policy last June to explicitly state that users promoting hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned, among other clarifications. Reddit consulted moderators from communities disproportionately targeted with hate and members of its internal Social Justice Task Force to create the new policy.

The company honored Ohanian’s request in filling his board seat with Michael Seibel, a partner at Y Combinator and CEO of its start-up accelerator program. It later added to the board Paula Price, a Black finance executive who’s served on six public company boards.

Other notable updates: Reddit said it’s instituted pay parity check-ins to make its practices more fair and said it’s updated its recruiting strategy at universities to recruit from minority-led student groups and additional HBCUs. Its upcoming intern class will be more than one-third Black and Latino.

Shopify

2020 commitment: Shopify said it would donate $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Black Health Alliance and Campaign Zero. 

In October, it announced it would work with Operation HOPE to create 1 million new Black-owned businesses by 2030. The commitment includes $130 million in resources throughout the initiative.

2021 progress: Shopify has fully allocated its $1 million donation commitment, according to a spokesperson.

To reach its goal of creating 1 million new Black-owned businesses by 2030, Shopify has so far extended 120 days of free access to the platform, created a tailored education program to help business owners launch their online stores and provided access to its Build Black Community network.

Other notable updates: Shopify implemented several features to highlight Black-owned businesses on its platform, including through a Black Business Directory and Black-owned business feature in its mobile shopping assistant app.

Slack

2020 commitment: Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and his partner, Jen Rubio, CEO of Away, said they would donate $700,000 to several nonprofits and match $300,000 to those groups.

Slack committed funds to the Equal Justice Initiative and funded an engineering role at Raheem, an online service where people can report misconduct by police. More than 250 Slack employees also volunteered technical support for the group.

2021 progress: Slack donated $100,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative in the past year.

Slack said that Raheem filled the engineering role it’s funded for one year.

Other notable updates: Slack founded a program called Next Chapter in 2018 to help formerly incarcerated people find skilled, long-term employment. In March, it announced several more companies have joined the initiative, bringing its total members to 11 companies and 21 apprentices in its third cohort. Slack agreed to be acquired by Salesforce in December 2020.

Snap

2020 commitment: Snap said it would no longer promote then-President Donald Trump’s content in Snapchat’s Discover feature after Trump addressed the riots in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. 

Snap also made several commitments in its first diversity report in June 2020, including:

  • Enhancing its recruitment process to drive more diverse hiring with distinct representation goals.
  • Linking executive leaders’ performance outcomes to contributions to diversity and inclusion strategy.
  • Expanding across the world its living wage pledge, which would provide minimum employee salaries of $70,000, on top of equity grants.
  • Auditing the Discover feature of Snapchat for representation and creating goals for inclusive content.
  • Doubling the number of women in technical positions at the company by 2023.
  • Doubling the number of underrepresented U.S. racial and ethnic minorities at the company by 2025.
  • Recruiting and training a diverse group of employees to create machine learning systems to reduce bias.
  • Increasing diversity of the Lens creator community by building a creator curriculum in 2021 that can be piloted at diverse colleges.
  • Working with other businesses and experts to improve Snap’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, beginning with having an Academic & Industry Working Group produce a study of DEI efforts in the industry in Q1 2021. Snap said it would make this work public in hopes of encouraging collaboration across the industry.
  • Auditing its suppliers and using findings to create commitments to increase spend with diverse suppliers in Q4 2020. 

2021 progress: Snap has made progress on its goals in the following ways:

  • The company said it’s on track to meet its representation goal of doubling the number of employees from underrepresented U.S. racial groups by 2025 and doubling the number of women in tech roles by 2023. The company set additional goals of increasing the number of employees from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups to 20% by 2025, women in tech roles to 25% by 2025 and increasing the number of people in leadership who identify as women or members of racial and ethnic minority groups by 30% by 2025.
  • Snap now requires executives to include DEI objectives and key results in their team strategies and review progress on at least a quarterly basis, with performance evaluations tied to progress.
  • Snap said in its 2020 diversity report that it expanded the scope of Discover content to be more representative of the Snapchat community, with more than half of Snap Originals featuring leads or hosts who identify as people of color or LGBTQ+.
  • Snap is partnering with diverse experts to improve its camera to work better regardless of skin tone, age, ability or other characteristics. The company is also continuing to figure out ways to reduce bias in machine learning processes.
  • Snap said it would add career prep tracks for augmented reality, marketing, brand strategy and communications to its opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds as part of its Snap Academies program.
  • Snap conducted a supplier diversity audit in 2020 and introduced questions about diversity demographics in their request for proposal process. In 2020, Snap said at least half of creative productions overseen by its marketing group were given to teams with at least one creative from a minority community in a lead role.

Other notable updates: Snap said it’s introduced a “3i framework” meant to provide guidance to Snap employees on how to approach their work with equity in mind.

SoftBank

2020 commitment: SoftBank said it would create a $100 million Opportunity Fund to invest in companies led by people of color.

2021 progress: SoftBank said it has invested in more than 50 companies through its Opportunity Fund so far, representing over half of the capital. It said it’s still seeking more investments to make through the fund.

SoftBank said about half the founders it’s invested in through the fund are Black, making up about half of invested capital from the fund.

Other notable updates: SoftBank said it hopes to reinvest future gains into other opportunity funds.

TikTok 

The TikTok app is displayed in the app store in this arranged photograph in London, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.

Hollie Adams | Bloomberg | Getty Images

2020 commitment: TikTok committed to updating its technology and moderation strategies to better deal with content that violates its standards and make it easier for users to report violations.

It also said it would make a creator diversity council to uplift diverse voices on the platform and engage outside experts to figure out how its products and policies could better serve diverse users.

TikTok planned to make a creator portal to create more opportunities for the community.

It also made several financial commitments to nonprofits, including a $2 million contribution to groups working to support inclusive communities, such as the BET + United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund and Black Girls Code. It also committed $1 million to the Center for Policing Equity, $850,000 in microgrants to several community groups and $150,000 to support Black museums in the U.S.

2021 progress: TikTok now notifies creators of the specific policies they allegedly violated when their videos are removed and gives them the ability to appeal the decision. It also provided more transparency in its recommendation system and added educational PSAs on hashtags related to important public discussions such as Covid-19, elections and Black Lives Matter.

The company also introduced the Creator Diversity Collective to meet regularly with TikTok employees to discuss the platform. It launched the TikTok for Black Creatives accelerator program, created the Black TikTok Trailblazers list and launched a Support Black Businesses hub for Black entrepreneur creators.

TikTok brought Mutale Nkonde, founding CEO of AI for the People, onto its Content Advisory Council and proposed an info-sharing coalition of tech platforms to warn of potential harms.

It also launched a Creator Portal in January to make it easier to learn how to make and monetize content and established a #BlackTikTok community of creators that meet regularly with TikTok employees. 

A spokesperson confirmed its financial commitments to nonprofits had all been fulfilled.

Other notable updates: TikTok said in its transparency report covering the last half of 2020 that after it changed its “hate speech” policy to cover “hateful behavior,” the category accounts for 2% of videos it removed compared with 0.8% in the first half of the year.

Twitter

2020 commitment: Twitter said it would donate a Promoted Trend Spotlight to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture for a day, about $1 million in pro bono premium ads, to promote the museum’s “Talking About Race” series.

Twitter also created a $1 million fund to match employee donations to racial justice groups.

The company said it would give $250,000 in grants split between the Equal Justice Initiative and National Association of Black Journalists. It also said it would give $270,000 in ad grants to 13 organizations to amplify Black voices on the platform.

Twitter had stopped political campaign donations in 2018 but said it would donate a remaining $100,000 to nonpartisan groups working on voter turnout and civic engagement in underrepresented communities.

In fall 2020, Twitter launched the Finance Justice Fund with the Opportunity Finance Network with the goal of bringing $1 billion in capital from corporate and philanthropic partners to underserved U.S. communities. Twitter committed $100 million to the fund for the long-term below market rate loans, a $1 million grant and ongoing support.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, also the chief executive of Square, committed to donating $3 million to the Know Your Rights Camp.

2021 progress: Twitter said it allocated the $1 million pro bono ads promised to the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “Talking About Race” series.

Its employees donated $800,000 to 99 organizations between June and December that it matched, for a total of $1.6 million. The $200,000 left over in Twitter’s $1 million match fund goes back to the match budget to use on other campaigns and causes throughout the year, a spokesperson confirmed.

The company said it’s made its grant donation to the Equal Justice Initiative and National Association of Black Journalists. It also said it ultimately allocated $500,000 in ad grants to nonprofit groups dedicated to fighting for racial justice, nearly double the amount it initially pledged.

Twitter said the Finance Justice Fund it launched with the Opportunity Finance Network has committed $15.5 million in financing and issued $625,000 in grants.

The company also confirmed it had donated the $100,000 commitment to nonpartisan groups working to expand civic engagement.

Of its $100 million Finance Justice Fund, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed the company had so far made announced loans for five community development financial institutions. 

Other notable updates: Twitter created a new compensation program for leaders of internal Business Resource Groups. It also said that beginning this year, it will determine executive team compensation in part by participation in diversity and inclusion efforts and work toward meeting workforce representation targets. 

Uber

2020 commitment: Uber said it would donate $1 million total to the Center for Policing Equity and the Equal Justice Initiative.

The company said it would use its Uber Eats platform to highlight Black-owned businesses and eliminate delivery fees from those restaurants for the remainder of 2020. It also said it would offer discounted rides to Black-owned businesses impacted by Covid-19.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reaffirmed Uber’s commitment to being transparent about internal diversity and said it would expand opportunities for its gig workers through education opportunities and skills training.

In July, Uber outlined several commitments to becoming an anti-racist company:

  • Continuing to enforce its community guidelines prohibiting racist behavior.
  • Creating anti-racism and unconscious bias training for drivers and riders, in consultation with experts.
  • Training customer support agents in bias and discrimination and making it easier to report these issues through the apps.
  • Creating a new role to lead inclusivity and accessibility product design.
  • Formalizing and expanding Uber’s Fairness Working Group to advise on how to build inclusive products.
  • Growing the pipeline of Black and underrepresented technical workers by expanding its internships and fellowships.
  • Continuing to commit to pay equity on the basis of race and gender.
  • Doubling Black representation in director titles and above by 2025.
  • Continuing to publish annual diversity reports and expand them to include data on intersectionality and self-identification.
  • Doubling the pipeline of drivers, delivery people and Uber customer support staff to pursue corporate or other opportunities with Uber by 2025.
  • Offering training on inclusive management and cross-cultural competency to Uber managers.
  • Investing $10 million to support Black-owned businesses over two years through promotions and other features.
  • Continuing to highlight Black-owned restaurants beyond the 2020 $0 delivery promotion.
  • Doubling its spend with Black-owned suppliers.

2021 progress: In May, Khosrowshahi provided an update on the commitments in a blog post:

  • Uber said it’s developing new anti-racism training for drivers and riders with the help of experts and said it launched its first pilot in Brazil.
  • The company added a standalone option in the app to report racism and discrimination and improved processes to handle such incidents.
  • Uber hired its first Inclusive Design Lead, Erica Ellis. It said it would create more roles to support the work.
  • It launched a Fairness Research Team to measure the impact of pricing, matching and safety products on underserved communities. It also expanded its Fairness Working Group to include lawyers, data scientists, product managers, policy experts and members of Uber’s employee resource groups.
  • Uber expanded its Career Prep fellowship program to accept applicants at universities in Brazil and Canada. Fellows gain an individual mentor from Uber’s engineering team throughout 2021 with a guaranteed opportunity to interview for a full-time or internship role.
  • Uber said that in 2020, women at the company earned $1 for every $1 earned by men in similar job functions. Employees from underrepresented racial backgrounds also earned $1 for every $1 earned by non-underrepresented peers at the same job level.
  • Uber implemented dedicated time for executive talent acquisition teams to build a diverse pipeline of talent for leadership roles. It also added the Mansfield Rule, committing to interview a pool of candidates matching or exceeding market supply for diversity. It created the Uber Executive Networking program to build relationships between Uber’s leaders and female, Black and Latino executives outside of the company.
  • Uber said it will begin to offer inclusive management and cross-cultural competency training to the first 2,000 people managers in June 2021.
  • Uber said it achieved 50% diverse representation in its mid-level career development program that gives workers skills to grow into senior leadership roles.
  • The company invested $50 million in support of minority and underserved communities through a $25 million commitment to the MDI Keeper’s Fund and $25 million of unrestricted cash via deposits to qualifying MDIs.
  • Uber said it saw 3.5 million $0 delivery fee trips take place last year as part of its program to support Black-owned businesses. It said it will continue to take steps to highlight Black-owned businesses.

Other notable updates: Uber tied executive compensation to its diversity and inclusion metrics in 2019 and is now expanding that model to introduce D&I objectives for the top 50 leaders across the company.

— CNBC’s Jennifer Elias contributed to this report.

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Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.