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Airbnb, Intel and Lyft are among 30 tech companies pledging to boost diversity within their ranks

The pledge comes ahead of a global entrepreneurship summit taking place this week in Silicon Valley.

Joi Ito

A host of tech companies are vowing to do more to make their workforce representative of the U.S. population as well as to disclose publicly just how they are doing.

Among the 30 companies taking the Tech Inclusion Pledge are Airbnb, Box, GitHub, Intel, Lyft, Medium, Pinterest, SAP, Spotify, VMware and Zynga. Tech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google have already been releasing data on the diversity of their workforce, though most of the reports show significant underrepresentation of women and minorities.

“The U.S. is the best place in the world to start and grow a business and yet there is so much more we can do to field our full team,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith* said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. Smith noted that only 3 percent of venture-funded startups are led by women and just 1 percent by African-Americans.

Smith cited a just-released report from Intel Corporation and Dalberg Global Development Advisors that estimated the U.S. technology industry could generate an additional $470 billion to $570 billion in new value by better representing the country’s ethnic and gender diversity.

The move comes ahead of a global entrepreneurship summit taking place this week at Stanford. Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and President Obama are among those set to speak at the event. Also speaking are: Secretary of State John Kerry, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, AOL co-founder Steve Case, Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, as well as entrepreneurs from across the globe along with the cast of HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”

Past summits have taken place overseas but the White House decided to have the event in Silicon Valley for the final edition during the current administration.

Smith said that the diversity pledge stemmed from last year’s White House demo day but was an industry-led effort.

In addition to companies taking the pledge, some other organizations and venture firms are making other commitments, including 500 Startups, which is announcing a $25 million microfund to invest in over 200 startups led by black and Latino tech entrepreneurs.

* Kara Swisher is married to, but separated from, Megan Smith. See Kara’s ethics statement here.

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