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Brown Introduces Legislation to Promote Diversity in the Defense Industrial Base

“No attempt at advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities can ignore the defense industrial base.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Anthony G. Brown introduced the Diversity and Inclusion in the Defense Industrial Base Act to promote transparency in diversity and inclusion efforts within the Defense Industrial Base.

As greater efforts are being made to center equity and justice in the federal government in the Biden Administration, there is a need for transparency in one of the federal government’s largest contractor pools. The Defense Industrial Base is a network of over 100,000 companies that compete each year for contracts with the United States military and homeland defense agencies. 

“No attempt at advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities can ignore the defense industrial base,” said Congressman Brown. “The defense industrial base supports millions of good jobs around our country, which is why it's imperative that our whole country has the opportunity to participate in this economy”

This legislation would promote greater diversity and inclusion in the defense industrial base by requiring all defense firms with substantial contracts to report their key demographic information to the public annually. Such reports would need to include demographic data on their workforce, senior leadership, and board of directors as well as the programs and policies at the firm regarding diversity and inclusion. 

Congressman Brown has previously passed into law significant legislation to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the armed services.

The Department of Defense is the largest employer of scientists and engineers in the United States, and the second-largest funder of research and development. With African Americans underrepresented in the science and engineering labor force by as much as 62 percent, it is critical that greater access be given to a diverse community of burgeoning scientists. The defense industrial base is the touchstone to the future of the American economy, which only emphasizes the need to center diversity and inclusion.

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