An Open Letter to Silicon Valley Technology Companies
August 6, 2015
The RainbowPUSH Coalition in 2014 appealed to over 25 technology companies to demonstrate a new level of transparency and publicly release their EEO-1 reports and workforce diversity data.
The response was overwhelming. Iconic Silicon Valley companies previously went to court to prevent the release of their data. We launched PUSHTech2020 to disrupt the silence and resistance, and issue a clarion call for economic empowerment, fairness and opportunity.
Company after company unveiled their diversity data. A new day dawned in Silicon Valley and the tech industry where diversity and inclusion rose to the top of the industry’s agenda, becoming the civil rights imperative of this era,
Silicon Valley and the technology industry is data driven, and it spoke loudly and clearly: Blacks and Latinos were just 1-3% of their tech and non-tech workforces. The undeniable data exposed the virtual exclusion of Blacks and Latinos from the boardrooms, c-suites and workforces of technology companies.
That, simply put, is inexcusable, unacceptable and inconsistent with the values espoused by tech companies.
Companies pledged to take concrete remedial action to right the wrongs of past practices and policies, to work to change the face of technology so that its leadership, workforce and business partnerships mirror the world in which we live. That includes the people and communities that technology companies rely upon as the consumers that drive its success.
Entering mid year 2015 one year since the floodgates opened, we now urge you to go deeper and wider in reporting your diversity and inclusion data:
We hope to receive this information by September 30, 2015, at which time you are required to have filed your EEO-1 reports with the federal government. The information collected will provide the foundation for a PUSHTech2020 report.
It’s Year Two of the Diversity and Inclusion Challenge. It’s time to take stock of what has been done: what has worked and what hasn’t. Are the pledges and commitments matching real results? Are any tech companies making a real difference and, if so, how? If not, why not?
Rainbow PUSH argues that companies must set specific, quantifiable diversity and inclusion goals, targets and timetables. Without them, the ability to measure and be accountable for progress will be difficult.
Change must be real. As the technology industry - the most innovative and revolutionary economic engine – drives the world into the future, women, people of color cannot be left behind.
Finally, I assert that Silicon Valley and the tech industry, at your best, can be a tremendously positive change agent for the world; at your worst, you can hold on to old patterns that exclude people of color and women from opportunity and advancement and hold back progress. You have demonstrated that you can solve some of the most challenging complex problems in the world. Inclusion is a complex problem – if we put our collective minds to it, we can solve this one, too.
In today’s world, when people of color will soon be California’s majority population, and the new majority of America by 2040, diversity and inclusion drive the consumer marketplace and give companies the competitive advantage they need to succeed.
50 years ago today the Voting Rights Act was signed into law. We crossed that bridge. Now we must cross another bridge leading to jobs, economic empowerment and justice. Inclusion leads to growth, and when there is growth, everybody wins. Let’s cross the bridge.
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
President and Founder
Rainbow PUSH Coalition