Vice President-elect Mike Pence?s selfie at House GOP conference in November. / Twitter

The 115th Congress Not a Model for Diversity

The 115th Congress began its session on Tuesday. It’s being said thatNovember’s elections resulted in the most diverse congress ever. But that’s not saying much, as the increase from the 114th Congress is minimal. The voice of the people is not representative of U.S. demographics.


Out of 352 men and 83 women in the House of Representatives:

RaceAmountPercentageU.S. Population*
White34078.0%77.1%
Black4610.5%13.3%
Latino347.8%17.6%
Asian122.6%5.6%
Other30.7%2.6%

Out of 79 men and 21 women in the Senate:

RaceAmountPercentageU.S. Population*
White9090%77.1%
Black33%13.3%
Latino44%17.6%
Asian33%5.6%

*2015 U.S. Census Data Estimates

In the House, there are now83 women. That is a decrease from 84 in the 114th Congress. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) is the first Indian American woman elected to Congress, Stephanie Murphy(D-Fla. 7th District)is the first Vietnamese American woman, andVal Demings (D-Fla. 10th District) is the first woman and first African American to represent her district.

There are seven senators in the freshman class, and four are women (all Democrats). They increase the number of women in the Senate to a new record 21. It is an increase from 20 women in the 114th Congress.

Newly elected Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is both the first Indian American and the second Blackfemale senator elected to the Senate (her father is Jamaican and her mother is from India). Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) isits first Thai American. Duckworth is also only the second Asian American senator and the first female senator to have served a combat role in the Army. And, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is the first Latina in the Senate. These senators joinHawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono(D-Hawaii). As a child, Hirono immigrated to the U.S. from Japan.

Women comprise approximately 51 percent of the U.S. population, yet only about 19 percent of Congress.

The number of Black House members increased from 44 to 46.Latino House members increased from 28 to 34, andAsian American members increased from eight to 12.

There are now three Black senators, an increase from two in the 114th Congress. Latino senators increased from three to four. And, Asian American senators increased from one to three.

In 2015, AfricanAmericans, Asian Americans and Latinosmade up an estimated 35 percent of the U.S.population.

The racial and gender diversity in Congress is due to the Democratic lawmakers now present in the House and Senate.Congress remains overwhelmingly white and male compared to the overall population.

Republicans are the majority in the House and Senate. White men comprise approximately 87 percent of House Republicans.

It was House Republicans who voted in a closed-door meeting Monday night to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, a nonpartisan ethics watchdog, which oversees them.

After backlash from the public, criticism from leading Democrats and, ultimately, a few tweets from President-elect Donald Trump about priorities, House Republicans dropped the proposal Tuesday afternoon.

CongressDemographics Reflect American Business Owners, Corporate Boards

According to data published in September by the Census Bureau, white men own most American businesses.

America's Entrepreneurs

Corporate boardrooms remain majority male. Currently, only 4 percent of S&P 500 CEOs are female. DiversityInc Top 50 survey data found a correlation between women representation on boards and diversity-management performance.

The DiversityInc Top 50, on average, has 34 percent more women on its boards than all other participating companies.

This resulted in Top 50 companies having 26 percent more women in level 1 management (CEO and direct reports) than all other participating companies. Level 1 is essential in promoting efficient diversity-management practices and holding the organization accountable for results.

Related Story: PwC Survey: Men, Women Directors View the Value of Diversity Differently

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (No. 5onthe DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversitylist) annual corporate survey found investors have been the ones pushing the needle toward diversity and inclusion, as male directors continue to grapple with its value.

According to the results, women directors are much more likely to think board diversity improves company performance 89 percent compared to 24 percent of men.

Women directors overwhelmingly believe board diversity improves board effectiveness 92 percent versus 38 percent of men.

One in 10 directors believe the optimal representation of women on boards should be 20 percent or less 97 percent of those who believe this are male.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Latest News

Georgia Power, Georgia Power Foundation Invested More Than $20 Million To Help Meet Community Challenges in 2020

Originally published at southerncompany.com. Southern Company ranked No. 20 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Georgia Power and the Georgia Power Foundation today released their annual Citizenship Report highlighting how the company, its employees and retirees gave back to Georgia communities last year, helping to build…

Toyota Financial Services Issues New Asset-Backed Green Bond, Highlighting Toyota’s Ongoing Commitment to Sustainability

Originally published at pressroom.toyota.com. Toyota Motor North America ranked No. 7 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Toyota Financial Services (TFS) issued its latest Asset-Backed Green Bond, reinforcing the company’s longstanding commitment to the sale of environmentally friendly vehicles. Net proceeds from the $1.6…

ADP Recognized as a Customers’ Choice in 2021 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’

Originally published at mediacenter.adp.com. ADP ranked No. 8 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Industry analyst firm Gartner recognized ADP as a Customers’ Choice with category distinctions in Midsize Enterprises and North America in its 2021 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Cloud HCM Suites…

Cigna building

Cigna and New York Life Expand Eligibility for ‘Brave of Heart Fund’ Grants Supporting Families of Healthcare Workers Who Lost Their Lives in the Fight Against COVID-19

Originally published at cigna.com. Cigna ranked No. 33 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   On June 17, the foundations of New York Life and Cigna announced that the Brave of Heart Fund, which provides monetary grants to the families of heroic health care workers…

Cox Auto Study on Dealerships Thriving in Digital

Originally published at coxenterprises.com. Cox Communications ranked No. 32 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Cox Automotive has released a new study — “How to Thrive: ​Best Practices for an Accelerated Digital Landscape” — examining effective strategies dealerships are adopting to find profits and thrive…

Hershey Named To The Civic 50 And Recognized As Consumer Staples Leader For Commitment To Empowering Communities

Originally published at thehersheycompany.com. The Hershey Company ranked No. 10 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The Hershey Company has been named a 2021 honoree of The Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. In addition to being recognized…