For tech, race-conscious college admissions provided a pipeline of diverse talent
On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard striking down the use of race-conscious admissions by colleges and universities.
For the tech industry, affirmative action admissions practices in higher education provided a pipeline of diverse talent as the industry worked to create a more inclusive workforce. Chamber of Progress joined nearly 70 major U.S. corporations, including more than a dozen leading tech companies, in filing an amicus brief in support of race-conscious admissions programs as the Supreme Court considered the UNC and Harvard cases. The brief argued that a diverse pipeline of graduates in STEM fields is essential to the success of science and tech companies.
“The tech sector faces a historic diversity problem that hurts workers, consumers, and the industry itself, and affirmative action was a part of the industry’s answer to that problem,” said Chamber of Progress Legal Advocacy Counsel Jess Miers. “Without race-conscious admissions, the student pools that tech recruits from are in danger of becoming much less diverse. It’s incumbent on the Biden Administration to work with colleges to develop a plan to make sure diversity at top colleges doesn’t crash.”
Studies repeatedly show that more diverse companies perform better. A McKinsey analysis shows companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to outperform peers in the bottom quartile. Research also shows that diverse teams are better at making decisions, and that diversity and inclusion are important factors for job seekers.
Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.
Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.