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The Hill: Black lawmakers to push diversity in Silicon Valley

The Congressional Black Caucus is heading to Silicon Valley. 

Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and two other members are slated to travel to California in early August to pressure tech leaders to put more of a focus on African-American recruitment.  

The trip is part of the caucus’s Tech 2020 initiative, which launched in May to highlight African-Americans’ lack of representation in the technology industry. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently met with the caucus on Capitol Hill about the issue. 

“This visit is another step toward opening doors of opportunity for African-Americans in the booming tech sector,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who is also making the trip, along with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). 

During the trip, the members will visit Apple, Bloomberg, Google, Intel, Kapor, Pandora and SAP. 

Butterfield has previously said tech company diversity is “appalling” and senior leadership at many companies is not very inclusive. He has encouraged everything from student internships to placing more minorities at board-level positions. 

Reports digging into a number of tech giants’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports from last year found that black employment sat between 2 percent and 4 percent. The industry has long faced criticism about including few female and minority employees.