Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., speaks during an interview in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Al Drago—CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
By Katie Reilly
April 5, 2016

The Democratic National Committee has become slightly more diverse in its hiring and contracting practices over the past five years, part of an effort to have the the Democratic party represent the country at large, a new report shows.

Last year, 48% of all DNC employees were women, and 35.9% were minorities, the committee said in a press release on Tuesday.

The percentage of minority employees has climbed since 2011, when it stood at 32.1% The percentage of female DNC employees, on the other hand, has fluctuated in the past five years—beginning at 46.20% in 2011 and peaking 48.8% in 2012.

“A commitment to diversity takes more than words on paper; it takes a concerted effort to expand outreach and engage diverse communities at every level,” DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement, in which she also criticized the Republican party for divisive rhetoric.

“Diversity is the definition of the American experience, and if the Republican Party continues to alienate and divide, it should expect to continue to lose the White House for generations to come,” she said in the statement.

The Republican National Committee launched an ad campaign earlier this year, touting diversity in its leadership ranks in an effort to broaden its base. After appointing a national director of African American initiatives and media last week, the RNC also plans to launch a diversity initiative aimed at black conservatives.

A further breakdown of minority DNC employees in 2015 showed that 18.9% were African-American, 7.7% were Hispanic-American, 8.1% were Asian-American or Pacific Islander, and 1.2% were Native American.

By comparison, U.S. census data show that 13.2% of the U.S. population is African-American, 17.4% is Hispanic, 5.4% is Asian, 0.2% is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 0.9% is American Indian.

The committee also aimed to increase diversity among the vendors with whom it does business, creating a directory of more than 500 businesses with minority owners. The release said 23% of DNC contracts and 25% of spending went to minority-owned businesses in 2015, expanding the same effort to planning for this year’s party convention.

Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com.

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