Silicon Valley continues to struggle with its lack of diversity, but many firms are now funding initiatives, adjusting policy, and actively seeking solutions. Now, two years after Google began the trend, the federal agency responsible for equal employment opportunity in the U.S. is getting involved, as well.

The federal government continues to become more involved in solving the diversity problem, and this week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is finally joining the conversation in an active way.

EEOC Diversity Hearing

The EEOC, the federal agency that investigates discrimination and enforces civil rights laws in the workplace, will hold a public meeting on diversity in the technology industry on Wednesday, May 18, at the agency's Washington D.C. headquarters.

Titled "Innovation Opportunity: Examining Strategies to Promote Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces in the Tech Industry," the meeting will feature six panelists to address and discuss trends in employment opportunity for minorities in Silicon Valley, along with how to fix the dearth of diversity that currently exists in tech workforces. The meeting will start at 1 p.m.

Included among the panelists are Camilla Velasquez, VP of Product and Marketing for JustWorks, who formerly worked in upper management at both American Express and Etsy, and Kapor Capital partner Benjamin Jealous. As Latin Post previously reported, Kapor Capital is the venture capital wing of diversity-backing organization Kapor Center, which recently launched its VC arm in order to foster diverse workforces from the earliest stages of tech startups.

In addition to the panel discussion, EEOC staff will present preliminary findings from the agency's upcoming report analyzing demographics and trends in the technology industry.

Late to the Party

Judging from the agenda and title, this meeting will be mostly preliminary work and discussion on solutions, which at this stage is a little overdue for the agency.

Through all of the media coverage and public discussion of diversity in Silicon Valley -- ever since the Rev. Jesse Jackson kicked off the push for tech companies to be transparent with their workforce diversity data at HP's shareholders meeting two years ago -- the only way the public may have been aware of EEOC involvement is through the workforce data that they collect annually, by law.

Indeed in the early days of the diversity fight (when few tech firms were volunteering diversity data), advocates' threats to submit freedom of information act (FOIA) requests to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- in order to review tech companies' annual EEO-1 workplace demographics reports, themselves -- was one way to gain traction in Silicon Valley. For example, after Google voluntarily released its first, groundbreaking diversity transparency report in 2014, the Rev. Jesse Jackson used EEO-1 FOIA threats to get Amazon and others to join the transparency trend. But as CNN reported in 2013, their journalists had had quite a hard time coaxing the EEOC to release EEO-1 data for Silicon Valley companies, starting back in 2011.

Other parts of the federal government, particularly the White House, have already gotten behind many initiatives to boost alternative technology training, STEM education, hiring of underrepresented workers, and spur more diversity in entrepreneurship and tech.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's first meeting to discuss ideas on the same subject is a welcome step beyond simply collecting data that showed what a problem diversity for Silicon Valley in the first place.