A majority of both Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s campaign staffs are women, while people of color make up over one-third of the Democratic presidential nominee’s team, according to new data released by both candidates’ teams on Saturday.
Biden’s campaign had been pressed for information on the diversity of its staff by journalists and allies on the left, especially as concerns about racial justice have overtaken much of the national conversation in the past month. The Trump campaign provided its information after Biden’s team released its demographic data but declined to provide details on the racial makeup of its entire staff.
“We have a very diverse staff and we have a diverse staff that goes across the board,” Biden said Saturday at a town hall meeting hosted by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, a group that mobilizes voters.
Overall, 53% of Biden’s campaign staff are women and their representation is even higher among senior staff, at 58%. Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield, and several senior advisers, including Anita Dunn, Symone Sanders and Karine Jean-Pierre, are women. Trump’s campaign staff is 52% female and, as on Biden’s team, women make up an even larger proportion of senior staff, at 56%.
Biden’s staff is 35% people of color and senior staff is 36% people of color, the campaign said. Senior people of color on the staff include Sanders, Jean-Pierre, senior adviser Cristobal Alex, and national voter protection director Rachana Desai Martin. The Trump campaign said that 25% of its senior staff are people of color. It didn’t provide data for the whole team.
“This is a great, first transparent step from the Biden campaign,” said Alida Garcia, founder and partner in Inclusv, a group that supports people of color working in progressive politics and advocacy. Inclusv is working with the Biden team to connect potential staffers of color with the campaign.
“Inclusv is very excited to see them share the makeup of their organization publicly,” Garcia said. “Obviously there is room for growth, but they’re approaching where the Clinton campaign ended and still have the opportunity to beat those numbers as they staff up their battleground state operations.”
Clinton’s 2016 campaign staff was 54% female and more than 38% of staff identified as racially and ethnically diverse, though that number was lower, at 34%, for the campaign’s leadership.
Inclusv and others fighting for greater representation of minority groups in progressive politics argue that if a campaign like Biden’s is seeking the support of people of color and women, its staff should reflect the share of its voters who are from those groups.
“If campaigns want to run operations to engage the voters they need to be elected, they need to have more stakeholders at the table who represent those voters,” Garcia said. “The candidate of Black Lives Matter, immigration reform and women’s issues should have a team that reflects those values.”
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