Skip to comments.Jesse Jackson Takes on Tech's Lack of Diversity
Posted on 03/27/2014 10:01:29 AM PDT by null and voidEdited on 03/27/2014 12:25:29 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson led a delegation to the Hewlett-Packard annual shareholders meeting on March 19, 2014, to bring attention to Silicon Valley's poor record of including blacks and Latinos in hiring, board appointments and startup funding. Jackson's strategy borrows from the traditional civil rights era playbook of shaming companies to prod them into transformation. Now, he is bringing it to the age of social media and a booming tech industry known for its disruptive innovation.
"We're talking about a sector that responds to future trends," says Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council, a group of current and former African-American Fortune 500 executives who work to increase diversity at the top levels of American business. "He's speaking at one organization. I'm sure the people at Hewlett-Packard have and will continue to put some focus on it. Whether it will accelerate is to be seen. But it's a start."
Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine, says Jackson is shining a light on the fact that technology companies don't come close to hiring or spending what is commensurate with the demographics of their customers.
"Hopefully, what Rev. Jackson is doing will bring attention to the 800-pound gorilla in the room that nobody wants to talk about. It's high time that gets addressed," Graves says.
It's widely recognized that the tech industry lacks diversity: About one in 14 tech workers is black or Latino both in Silicon Valley and nationally. Blacks and Hispanics make up 13.1 and 16.9 percent of the U.S. population, respectively, according to the most recent census data.
"Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day," Jackson wrote in a letter released March 17 to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, Google and others.
Jackson said March 18 that he isn't singling HP out, he's just using the company's annual meeting to highlight the broader issue.
"This is not exclusive to Hewlett-Packard," he said.
As recently as 2011, Allstate, in alliance with Jackson's RainbowPUSH organization, recognized HP for its commitment to diversity.
"While we certainly agree that diversity is an important issue in corporate America, we're puzzled by Rev. Jackson's sudden interest in HP," said HP executive vice president Henry Gomez in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. "Today, HP is the largest company in the world with both a female CEO and CFO and nearly half of our leadership team and Board of Directors are women and minorities. Additionally, nearly 50 years ago, HP established the first Minority Business Program in the United States."
Gomez also points out that in 2013, HP spent nearly $1 billion with almost 500 minority business enterprises in the U.S. and an additional $500 million with businesses owned by women.
"We look forward to seeing Rev. Jackson at our shareholder meeting," Gomez says.
Apple and Google declined to comment on Jackson's grievances. Facebook and Twitter didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Of course, the technology industry isn't without a handful of high-profile black executives. Microsoft named John Thompson, an African-American, as chairman of its board last month after he led a search that culminated in the appointment of Satya Nadella as the software maker's new CEO. Thompson, the former CEO of security software maker Symantec, joined Microsoft's board in 2012.
Excerpt, read more at scientificcomputing.com
Math is notoriously racist and sexist.
Maybe, Jesse, it's because THEY DROP OUT before graduating?
OR they major in BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL if they do?..................
When is Je$$e Jack$on going to complain about the lack of diversity in the NFL and NBA?
Not enough white boys there. Thats racist.
perhaps the geniuses at “Level Playing Field Institute “ should get out a news release to inspire students to stop whining and “act white” ?
HP needs to do what Toyota did when Jesse Jackson brought his reparations-road-show to town.
Toyota sat Jackson down in a room, and laid out page after page of private investigator research about how he was shaking down companies for cash payments.
Without a word, Jesse left the room. Empty-handed.
This is right up obamas alley.
maybe MICHELLE can launch an ACT WHITE/GET AHEAD program?
I'd say that "diversity" is one of those dog whistles that Chris Matthews keeps hearing.
In tech industries, there are plenty of Asians (Asia-Pac and India), but that's the wrong kind of "diversity."
To Jackson, "diversity" only means Black, and grudgingly, Hispanic.
“Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day,” Jackson wrote in a letter released March 17 to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, Google and others.
I wonder whay Jesse doesn’t practice what he preaches? Why didn’t he direct his own son into the high-tech field?
Instead of becoming some low-life politician in prison?
Maybe if idiots like Kanye West weren’t considered the smartest black person on the planet. But really, the cause of all the problems in the black community is lack of fathers. I wonder what the percentage of tech workers know fathers.
I thought that he already did shake them down?
What a stupid idiot. There is something called IQ. It is a valid measurement of intelligence. To work in IT you need high intelligence. That’s why so many people from India excel in IT.
Maybe HP could institute a new Telecommuting Program? They could call it the WFP or “Work from Prison”
I’m not for any form of affirmative action, but if the rest of us are stuck with it, the liberal IT sector should be too.
On the other hand, the real discrimination is in the funders of IT: the liberal VC world is openly sexist, with gender ratios far outside of women and women’s success in the industry more generally.
Jesse J to Silicon valley: “Show Me the Money!”
It’s not just effort, it’s talent too.
I have mixed feelings on this. The Silicon Valley liberals at Google etc. help elect politicians who support Jesse Jackass and his ilk. Maybe they should hire and pay incompetent friends and relatives of the democrat race baiters. The Silicon Valley executives should cut their salaries so they can pay for the “diversity.” The Silicon Valley liberals made their bed. Let them sleep in it.
“If Hewlett-Packard hand any sense they would have had security summarily throw that race baiter out the door and threaten to charge him with trespassing if he again stepped foot on their property...”
The better thing to do was for the CEO of HP is to challenge him with all relevant facts regarding problems within the black community and then ask Jessie what is he doing to try and curtail it.
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