People sitting in a subway wearing masks

2021 Annual Report

Letter from Catherine Bracy, our CEO and Co-Founder

In the second year of the pandemic, the yawning gap between the poorest and richest grew even wider. With little of the early pandemic safety nets left in place, working-class people were stuck with the bill. Homeownership was pushed further out of reach, rebounding rents gobbled up what little wage increases workers received, and evictions pushed scores of people out of their homes despite a patchwork of moratoria. In stark contrast, corporate America got even richer; in 2021, billionaires gained a total of $1 trillion. Forget trickle-down; this year the wealth in our economy flooded upward.

The pandemic exposed and exacerbated the existing rift in our economy, but the roots of our affordability crisis run decades deep. This year was a painful reminder that economic justice work must be done at a comprehensive, structural scale for us to see lasting and resilient change.

There were bright spots. Growing unaffordability, the labor shortage, and the increasingly dire working conditions galvanized a resurgence of the labor movement nationwide. An unprecedented wave of tech workers announced newly formed unions and workers across industries went on strike for better pay and conditions. Working people in this country have been under pressure for years, and this year workers came together to fight for their collective well-being.

This unprecedented increase in inequality—and the reawakening of workers’ consciousness of their power—created the space for us to double down on initiatives that tackle tech’s role in this economic crisis.

For us, 2021 was a year of planting seeds. We launched three major initiatives to tackle tech’s role in rising inequality, investigating corners of the industry previously unexamined. To address the growing racial wealth gap, we worked with community partners to develop a guide for tech companies to hire people returning from incarceration. To understand the role of tech companies in the housing system–and the role they may play in increasing segregation–we launched the Tech, Bias and Housing Initiative. To uncover the truth of occupational segregation in tech, we released first-of-its-kind research into the two-tiered employment system in the tech industry.

All of these initiatives laid the groundwork for what’s to come in 2022. We’re coming out the gate with bold policy backed by our research, we’re getting values-aligned companies to adopt our equitable hiring and contracting standards, we’re shedding light on under-covered equity issues in tech, and we’re helping tech workers develop critical lenses to better understand their role in their work, in the economy, and in their communities.

None of this work would be possible without our community of passionate, committed tech workers. I’m grateful you’re here with us, and I’m so excited for what’s to come.

The staff of TechEquity (twelve people) standing in the sun and smiling at the camera.

Who We Are

We believe the tech industry can and should create economic prosperity for everyone, and be a place where tech sector employees and companies are engaged and active participants in making our economy equitable. Our mission is to mobilize tech workers and companies to advance structural change that addresses economic inequity at its roots. We educate the tech community on economic justice, advocate for bold public policy, and develop equitable corporate practices that build equity and opportunity in the broader economy.


We bring rank-and-file tech workers—and their outsized civic power—into these longstanding movements for justice, accelerating the pace of change.




Our community came together to deepen our understanding of economic justice issues and advocate for workers’ rights and housing for all. We kicked off banner initiatives and got critical legislation passed.

We Shed Light on Tech’s Shadow Workforce

We launched the Contract Worker Disparity Project, a first-of-its-kind, worker-centered research initiative combining workers’ first-hand accounts, industry research, and a sector-wide sampling to reveal the inequities of contract work practices in the tech industry. We created a responsible contracting standard that companies can adopt to ensure their contract workers are treated fairly.
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We Examined Tech’s Role in Housing

We began the Tech, Bias, and Housing Initiative to examine the promise and perils of housing technology. We developed a landscape of the major subsectors of the venture-backed housing ecosystem and laid the groundwork for original research in the year to come.
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We Passed Economic Justice Policy

Together with our members and advisors, TechEquity introduced a bold policy agenda to address economic inequality in the housing market and on the job. We held our first Lobby Day, where our community members spoke directly with legislators to voice their support for expanding broadband access and workers’ protections. We helped pass some key bills that will be instrumental in supporting vulnerable families and workers, including the Silenced No More Act, the Building Opportunities for All Package, and the Broadband Access for All Package.
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We Made a Plan for Hiring Returning People

In 2021, we launched the System Reset campaign to break the cycle between incarceration and unemployment, especially in communities of color. We released a step-by-step toolkit to help tech companies create on-ramps for people returning from incarceration. Soon after the campaign launched, our corporate partner Blend became the first tech company to adopt the System Reset framework in their hiring process.
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We Guided Tech Companies

We shifted from one-off educational opportunities to a strategic advisory role, providing companies with tangible ways to improve their corporate practice and align their actions with our values and those of their workers.
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We Created Digital Community

Even in a fully remote year, our community still managed to come together. We held more than 30 events with thousands of attendees tuning in remotely. We tackled the most pressing issues of the year and connected them to the systemic roots that have been here for decades. We heard from experts on housing, labor, and equity in the tech industry.
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Passing the Silenced No More Act was a turning point for worker protections in California, and TechEquity’s role in bringing tech workers into the fight was critical to its success. Thank you for building a community where tech workers who want to make a real difference, can.

Ifeoma Ozoma, Co-Author of the Silenced No More Act (SB 331)



TechEquity is a great community that is very organized; it provides excellent tools and great resources around key issue areas. It’s a safe place to ask dumb questions and learn to develop yourself, so you can learn how you can join this movement to help our society be more equitable.

– Seema Gururaj, TechEquity Community Member


Ending Disparities in Tech Contract Work

We’re launching our campaign to achieve Equal Pay for Equal Work for contractors and releasing a Responsible Contracting Standard so companies can adopt the best practices for contract workers to have safe, healthy, and family-sustaining employment opportunities.
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Tackling Tech Bias in Housing

Through comprehensive research, we’re strengthening the policies that prevent twenty-first-century housing innovations from carrying with them the racial injustices of the past. We’re working with advocates, community members, and companies committed to building a framework for ethical corporate practice.

Passing—and Implementing—Economic Justice Policy

We’re preparing for our most ambitious public policy year yet. We’re aiming to rebalance power between workers and corporations as well as fix the housing crisis with stable housing for all, prioritizing the needs of our most vulnerable and underserved residents and workers. Not only are we focused on passing critical legislation and measures, but we’re working to ensure that their implementation actually reaches those who need it most.

Instilling Ethical Workforce Practices in Tech

We’re paving the way for tech companies to implement truly ethical workforce practices. We want every tech company in California to hire people returning from incarceration, adopt responsible contracting standards, and provide transparency and accountability for algorithmic bias in their space.
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Growing Our Community

We’re launching educational initiatives that will deepen our collective understanding of the issues and help our members connect with their communities. By building a strong base, we’ll be able to tap tech workers’ civic power to gain unprecedented wins.
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TechEquity has given Blend a step-by-step guide to help welcome people returning from incarceration into our team, and we couldn’t be more grateful. By implementing System Reset at Blend, we believe we’re another step closer to becoming the equitable employer of the future.

– Antonia Ford, Diversity and Belonging Partner at Blend

Our Team

Fifteen headshots in a grid, comprised of the staff of TechEquity


Thank you to our advocacy partners

The logos of our advocacy partners: ACCE Action Alphabet Workers Union California Reinvestment Coalition California Employment Lawyers Association Earthseed Economic Policy Institute Equal Rights Advocates HR&A Advisors National Employment Law Project National Fair Housing Alliance Temp Worker JUstice Tech Can Do Better UCB Labor Center Upturn Worksafe



Thank you to our corporate partners



Thank you to our board

The board of TechEquity Collaborative


Thank you to our advisors

Our housing and workforce & labor advisors

Thank you to our major funders


Thank you for being with us in 2021; we really couldn’t do it without you.