2023 Legislative Policy Primer
AnitaB.org is a global organization with over 250,000 members and followers from 150 different countries, with 83% of our members working within the U.S. At AnitaB.org, we envision a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it. We connect, inspire, and guide women and non-binary people in computing, and organizations that view technology as a strategic imperative. Our policy work is crucial to our goal of intersectional gender equity and pay parity in the tech ecosystem.
The future of the economy lies within the evolving technical workforce – if women and non-binary people are excluded now, they and their families will only be left further behind. A stronger, more diverse technical workforce is imperative to the long-term economic and national security of the country. Technology is at the foundation of the future of all work. We believe in a future of intersectional gender equity for women and non-binary people in tech, achieved through equal recruitment, retention, advancement, pay, and investment.
Issues at a Glance
We conduct research that specifically inquires about the state of women and non-binary people in the tech field through the annual Technical Equity Experience Survey (TechEES). This survey provides insights into the lived experiences of technologists and perceptions of equity in their workplaces and schools.
Discrimination and Harassment
- 9 in 10 women and non-binary technologists experienced at least one type of discrimination based on gender, race/ethnicity, age, or other factors.
- 85.6% of women and non-binary technologists have experienced gender discrimination at work.
- 64.35% of women and non-binary technologists have experienced pregnancy/parental duties discrimination.
- 58.3% of women and non-binary technologists have experienced racial/ethnic discrimination at work.
- Women and non-binary technologists who are Black (81.6%) are experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination 4x more than their White peers.
- 33% of women and non-binary technologists have experienced sexual harassment at work.
- Overall, Latinx (45%) are more likely to experience sexual harassment compared to White peers.
- 31.5% of women and non-binary technologists have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation.
- Only 55.1% of women and non-binary technologists feel they are being paid fairly for their work. Across all career levels, women and non-binary technologists who are Black continue to be paid less than their peers.
- Women and non-binary technologists who are Black are most likely to leave their current place of work.
AnitaB.org Policy Recommendations
Addressing Harassment and Discrimination
- Prioritize the EEOC’s requested budget increases to add staff in mission-critical positions; expand outreach programs focused on know-your-rights education and connection to survivor services.
- Rebuild EEOC capacity to ensure the vital role of enforcing employment laws that address racial justice and systemic discrimination on all protected bases, pay equity, and the civil rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that disproportionately impacts people of color, women, older workers, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable workers.
Increasing Opportunity and Access
- Modernize and expedite federal hiring pathways to open greater opportunities for the public sector for careers in tech, including tech apprenticeship programming, temporary placements for industry and academic technologists in federal agencies, and/or public-private partnerships geared toward women and historically excluded communities.
- Ensure full funding of USDA’s ReConnect program and financing of broadband facility upgrades by the Rural Utilities Service to improve broadband access in underserved rural and tribal areas.
Addressing Pay Inequities
- Enact the Paycheck Fairness Act
- Pass national salary history ban legislation to enhance pay equity and transparency by prohibiting employers from inquiring about salary history and requiring them to list the minimum and maximum salary on all job postings, promotions, or transfer opportunities. Salary ban laws and regulations currently are active in 22 states and 21 localities, and will soon apply to federal contractors, under a recent Presidential Executive Order.
- Ensure full funding of programs at the NSF, DOE, and USDA for equitable inclusion of women and historically excluded communities of color in Federal S&T education, research, and capacity building, including STEM at HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and rural colleges
- Establish and fund pathways and minimum thresholds for federal agency recruitment from HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and rural colleges for government tech positions and apprenticeships.