An early focus of The Beeck Center’s Public Interest Technology Field Building portfolio has been to understand where the field stands on diversity and inclusion. We hope the insights we share will enable individuals and teams to be more successful in their work; build an entry-level pipeline of students; and foster learning, training, and community building. Diversity and inclusion has a unique importance for public interest tech because creating solutions for the public requires broad perspective and input, particularly of people and communities for whom existing systems have historically not been designed to work. We conducted a survey of the U.S. public interest technology workforce in late 2020 to understand how best to support the individuals who make up this growing field. We surveyed dozens of public interest technologists to capture the background, experiences, and demographics of the people who are doing this work and asked participants about the types of organizations they worked with, their career goals, and inclusion and equity of where they work to name a few.
This report summarizes key findings and recommendations based on our analysis of the data we gathered. We hope that the information we share can help guide the conversation around efforts to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion for public interest technologists.