SVLG’s Inclusion & Belonging Center of Expertise to focus on policies and partnerships that transform the face of Silicon Valley leadership and boost region’s business competitiveness
SAN JOSE, CA (August 31, 2023) – The Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) – the leading business association representing the innovation economy and its ecosystem – today announced four new initiatives focused on issues of equity, representation, and expanded opportunities in tech with an eye towards enhancing the region’s business competitiveness.
The initiatives, led by SVLG’s Inclusion and Belonging Center of Expertise, are
- the Pathways to Tech Working Group;
- the CSForAll Task Force;
- the ERG/BRG consortium; and
- the Health Equity Working Group.
Each initiative advances the organization’s ongoing commitment to transform the face of business leadership; includes a continued focus on HBCUs and recruiting and retaining Black talent; and promotes a more diverse and inclusive working environment in Silicon Valley and beyond.
“Silicon Valley’s position as the global driver of innovation hinges on achieving equity at all levels of the workforce – from the boardroom to the C-suite to the in-person and virtual offices,” said Ahmad Thomas, CEO of SVLG. “In the face of increased global competition, we recognize that inclusion and belonging are urgent and essential components of the success of our companies. It’s more critical than ever that we sustain the momentum and continue advancing our commitment to change the face of technology leadership while strengthening our region’s business competitiveness in the process.”
Earlier this year, SVLG announced its “Acceleration Agenda” to catalyze the next generation of Silicon Valley leadership through the development and growth of three Centers of Expertise (CoEs) – Technology and Innovation; Inclusion and Belonging; and Sustainable Growth. The Inclusion and Belonging COE’s portfolio is focused on Board Diversity, Corporate Inclusion, Health Equity, and Diversity Recruiting and Retention.
Details of the initiatives include:
- The Pathways to Tech Working Group will increase access to sustainable jobs in tech and the innovation economy. Pathways to Tech will lift up best practices among SVLG members, and first focus on connecting STEM-ready candidates to jobs in Tech, whether these are STARs, the 70 million workers who are “skilled through alternative routes,” or other candidates who are underrepresented when it comes to tech jobs.
- CSForAll Task Force, which will leverage the collective muscle of Silicon Valley companies, colleges and universities to pass legislation AB 1054 (Berman), focused on increasing access to computer science education in California. Black, Latinx, and Native American/Alaskan Native students comprise 60 percent of California’s high school population but just 16 percent of AP Computer Science test-takers. In promoting equitable computer science education, the CSForAll Task Force will take a leading role in closing this gap.
- The ERG / BRG Consortium, which will build community and increase retention in Silicon Valley corporations through curated programming and the use of technology. This group serves as a convener, bringing together member company employee resource groups (ERGs) and/or business resource groups (BRGs) and strengthens SVLG member companies’ commitment to attracting, hiring, retaining and promoting diverse talent in the innovation economy.
- The Health Equity Working Group, which will engage members in public policy conversations and legislative efforts to improve health outcomes and address regional health disparities. Through member engagement, this working group will raise awareness about what’s needed to improve outcomes for all patients, explore innovative solutions to overcoming structural racism and systemic injustice, and focus on how SVLG member companies and others are leading to ensure that all people are able to attain their highest level of health.
“At this critical moment, SVLG member companies are taking action to close the gap when it comes to representation in the technology workforce,” said Lisa Gauthier, Senior Vice President, Inclusion & Belonging COE. “Diverse leadership teams are proven to positively impact the bottom line and to generate tangible dividends in innovation, market share, and revenue. We look forward to working alongside our members and partners to chart a path toward a brighter, more equitable future.”
Over the coming months, the Inclusion & Growth CoE will hold a series of meetings to share best practices, expertise, and resources to promote a more inclusive and equitable future for the innovation economy. Additionally, SVLG will engage with key stakeholders – including policymakers, researchers, and community organizations – to develop and scale partnerships and programs that address inequality challenges in the Valley and the state of California.
SVLG Members or outside experts interested in engaging with this work should reach out to SVLG’s SVP Lisa Gauthier at email@example.com.
About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group:
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) is the leading business association representing the innovation economy and its ecosystem. Founded by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, SVLG has worked for 45 years to address issues that affect the region’s economic health and quality of life. Today, SVLG Is focused on accelerating the next era of Silicon Valley leadership, activated by our three new Centers of Expertise (COE). Innovation & Technology, Sustainable Growth, and Inclusion & Belonging. SVLG members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy. For more information, visit svlg.org.
SVP, Head of Communications