Amidst a heated debate on systemic racism and need for criminal justice reform sparked by the death of black man George Floyd in police custody, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has revealed that 35 percent of his campaign staff are people of colour and slightly over half are women, according to figures released on 27 June, reported The Washington Post.
A majority of both senior staff and full-time staff are women, with 53 percent full-time staff and 58 percent of senior staff identifying as female.
The released information did not contain the names of Biden’s staff members.
According to the campaign, its Asian-American and Pacific Islander senior leaders, defined as including “department heads, senior advisers, deputy campaign managers, and senior consultants” include its chief financial officer, chief operating officer, national voter protection director, digital chief of staff, director of digital partnerships, and surrogates director.
The campaign added that it was still in the “hiring process” and looks forward to adding “key leaders across the campaign”.
The move to release the figures came hours after Joe Biden was pressed on the issue at a virtual presidential town hall hosted by Asian Pacific Islander American Vote.
Prodding the presidential hopeful to disclose the information regarding the diversity of his campaign staff, PBS correspondent Amna Nawaz urged Biden to comply.
“I’ll release that staff diversity data today. When we get off this call, we’ll call you”, Biden replied, adding:
“You know, the fact of the matter is, we have a very diverse staff. And we have a diverse staff that goes across the board and high-level and senior positions. So I will make sure we release it to you, and it does include AAPI members as well as a significant number of African-Americans, significant number of women and Latinos”.
Biden vowed that his administration was “going to look like America”, and be a “reflection of who we are as a nation”.
The move came after Joe Biden’s presidential campaign reportedly dodged making their internal statistics on the diversity of staff public for months.
Previously, Biden boasted of minority representation within his campaign, saying in an NPR interview in December 2019:
“I have the most diverse staff of anybody running. I’ve always done that”.
Appearing at Saturday’s forum, Biden also lambasted current White House incumbent Donald Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, pledging to reverse his recent clampdown on employment-based H-1B visas.