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Biden campaign grows more diverse with people of color making up nearly half of staff

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks on the fourth night of the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center on Aug. 20, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 (CNN) — Joe Biden’s presidential campaign grew more diverse in its staffing over the summer months with people of color now making up nearly half of the campaign’s full-time staff and women on the campaign growing in their majority.

Forty-six percent of Biden’s full-time staff are people of color, up from 35% percent when the campaign first reported its diversity data in June, according to new figures provided to CNN by a Biden campaign official. Forty percent of senior staffers are people of color, up from 36% ten weeks ago.

The number of women on the campaign also grew with 59% of full-time staff identifying as female, up from 53% in June. Fifty-six percent of senior staff are female, a slight decrease from the 58% of women who comprised senior staff in June.

Five percent of staff chose not to specify race. The campaign did not provide a full staffing breakdown based on race and ethnicity. The new figures are reflective of 622 full-time Biden campaign staff, a campaign official said.

“The Vice President is committed to building a campaign team that reflects America. The growth in our diversity numbers reflects that commitment and is another great example of the Vice President demonstrating his values through his actions,” said Michael Leach, chief people diversity and inclusion officer for the Biden campaign. “As our campaign continues to grow and as we round out the final months of the general election, diversity, equity, and inclusion will continue to be at the forefront of our inclusive growth philosophy and strategy.”

The diversity adds come as the campaign has beefed up its hiring heading into the general election and as the Democratic ticket itself has become diverse. Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is the first Black and South Asian woman nominated to a major party ticket.

Alida Garcia, founder of Inclusv, a diversity in politics group that has worked with the Biden campaign to bring in more diverse staff, said the new figures reflect a “real committed focus” by the campaign to diversify its staffing, including in its battleground states’ operations.

“It shows how intentional they’ve been in building out their state teams to ensure that the state operations in these critical battleground states are reflective of the communities that are going to make up the Biden-Harris victory,” Garcia said.

“When we think about those communities and we think about communities of color, they are the hardest hit by the pandemic right now,” Garcia added. “As it relates to building campaign apparatuses that respect and understand what communities of color are facing, the fact that the campaign has been intentional about who is at the top in doing this work with them to me speaks volumes and also is going to provide them with the opportunity to build systems that engage these voters.”

Biden has pledged, if elected, to build an administration that reflects the diversity of the country, including in his staff, cabinet and other government officials.

“My administration’s going to look like America, not just my staff, the administration from the vice president straight down through Cabinet members to major players within the White House, and the court,” Biden said during a June townhall focusing on issues tied to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. “It’s going to be a reflection of who we are as a nation.”

The Trump campaign last released its diversity data in June when a spokesperson said 52% of full-time staff were women and senior staff was comprised of 56% women and 25% people of color. At the time, the campaign did not provide a breakdown of people of color on the full-time staff.