San Francisco, CA — Jesse Jackson, via his Rainbow PUSH Coalition organization, is making major moves in the areas of technology and diversity. The 73-year old long-time civil rights activist is hosting a Diversity 2.0 workshop in Silicon Valley, and his message is simple – inclusion.
Recent reports from both outside agencies and the companies themselves confirms that the technology work force is white and Asian men. African Americans, Hispanics, and even women of all ethnic backgrounds make up a very small percentage of those working for the top technology companies. For example, only 2 percent of the U.S. workers at Google and Facebook are Black. In addition, the number of Hispanics is below 5 percent at both companies.
Jackson comments, “There is much more work to be done to meet the challenge of transforming the tech industry to resemble the America it depends upon for talent and customers.”
One of the major sponsors and supporters of the event is Intel. Rosalind Hudnell, Intel’s vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer, comments, “We want to lead because we think it’s important. The ability to get great talent and build great products will be compromised if we don’t get better at this.”
And also private meetings
Jackson has also reportedly privately met with and had “positive and productive dialogues” with both Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Apple CEO Tim Cook in the past week. He says he intends to hold tech companies more accountable for promises they have made about diversifying their workforce.
“Many of these companies had an unfounded fear that we wanted to disrupt them,” he said. “We came not to disrupt, but to build. Inclusion will lead to growth.”
For more information about Jackson’s organization, visit www.rainbowpush.org