For Immediate Release
RAINBOW PUSH COALITION LAUNCHES NEW DIGITAL INCLUSION INITIATIVE
Rev. Jackson and delegation will attend HP Annual Shareholder Meeting March 19, 2014
Rev. Jesse Jackson will lead a delegation to the Hewlett Packard Annual Shareholder Meeting on March 19, calling attention to the lack of minority inclusion in Silicon Valley. He will shine the light on the virtual absence of African Americans in corporate boardrooms, C-suites, financial transactions, advertising and professional services.
Rev. Jackson and Rainbow PUSH will be also be meeting with community leaders, Tuesday, March 18, in East Palo Alto city offices, 2415 University Avenue, at 12noon.
Writing to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Google and other iconic Silicon Valley technology companies, Rev. Jackson said, “Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day. When it comes to African Americans on Board – ZERO. C-suites, ZERO. Minority firms in IPO’s and financial transactions, advertising and professional services – ZERO. These ZEROES are contrary to the enlightened values exposed by the industry. Rainbow PUSH is seeking meetings with tech leaders to address these ZEROES head on.”
ZERO Blacks on Boards and in the C-suites
Tech powerhouses including Apple, EBay, Google, and new media companies like Twitter and Facebook - have ZERO Blacks on their Board of Directors. Black Enterprise magazine reported that 75 of the top 250 S&P 500 public companies do not have an African American on their Board of Directors (http://www.BlackEnterprise.com/tag/black-corporate-directors/). Whites made up 86.7% of total board seats, and women and minorities lost ground in America's corporate boardrooms between 2004 and 2010 (Alliance for Board Diversity, Aug 2013)
This same pattern exists in the C-suites. Facebook, Twitter, EBay, HP, Apple, and far too many other Silicon Valley and technology firms have ZERO African Americans on their senior executive leadership teams. There are just five Black CEOs – or 1% - of Fortune 500 companies; Latinos fare slightly better with eight CEO’s, 1.6%, and there are 22 women (The Guardian) at the helm of all Fortune 500 CEOs (www.DiversityInc.com/top50).
The “all-white” (and mostly male) syndrome should become a thing of the past, and the HP’s, Facebook and other captains of industry must take the lead in putting it to rest. Digital inclusion leads to greater opportunity, and that’s added value for Silicon Valley.
Participation in capital markets
The Rainbow PUSH report, “Minority Inclusion in Debt Capital Markets: A Ranking of Corporate Issuers,” revealed that iconic technology firms ranked in the survey - Google, Apple, HP, and Oracle - all ranked at the very bottom, Tier 5.
Google used just one minority firm is its three recent debt offerings; HP did not include any minority firms in 20 of its debt offerings; and Apple did not include any minority firms in its last 6 debt offerings; including it’s latest $17Billion debt offering. EBay ranked in Tier 2, using minority firms in four of its last six offerings; and Microsoft in Tier 3, admirably using minority firms in all of its last 14 debt offerings. IBM made Tier 2.
Eighteen American multinationals use tax havens abroad to avoid an estimated $92 billion in federal taxes; the top ten companies with overseas tax hoards are tech companies, including Microsoft ($76.4 billion); IBM ($44.4 billion); Cisco Systems ($41.3 billion); Apple ($40.4 billion); Hewlett-Packard ($33.4 billion); and Google ($33.3 billion). (http://www.businessinsider.com/tech-companies-hoard-cash-overseas-to-avoid-taxes-2013-8#ixzz2uSXZqCuY)
Tech companies target Black and minority consumers - 24 million are internet users and 76% visit social media sites, according to Neilson. African-Americans have continued to outpace the total population with smartphone ownership. Google Search is the #1 search engine among African-Americans. Yet, of the $75 billion spent on television, magazine, internet, and radio advertising, only $2.24 billion of it was spent with media focused on Black audiences. Few, if any, tech companies utilize African American advertising or marketing agencies.
Rev. Jackson added, “At its best, technology can be a tremendously positive change agent for the world; at its worst, it can hold on to old patterns that exclude people of color and women from opportunity and advancement. Silicon Valley and the tech industry must transform itself to mirror the America it depends upon for talent and customers.”
Rainbow PUSH is seeking meetings with tech leaders to identify strategies and solutions to expand the participation of African American and people of color,” and to become partners based on reciprocity and mutual benefit.
Technology _ No Inclusion in Silicon Valley and the Technology Industry
Some facts and figures
The following information is derived from the Rainbow PUSH Survey (published February 2014) on minority participation in Capital Debt Markets between 2010-Sept 2013:
No technology companies in Tier 1
Tier 2 (IBM)
IBM: Used minority firms in 17 of its 20 debt offerings; 10 with just one; five with two; 5 with three or more.
Tier 3 (Microsoft)
Microsoft: In 100% of its 14 debt offerings, Microsoft included a minority firm; 3 with one firm; 8 with two firms; 3 with three of more.
Tier 4 (Ebay)
Ebay: 4 of its 6 debt offerings included a minority firm; all with just one minority firm.
Tier 5 (Google; HP; Apple; Oracle)
Google: Used just one minority firm in all three of its debt offerings
HP: Did not include any minority firms in 20 of its debt offerings
Apple: Did not include any minority firms in 6 of its debt offerings; including it’s latest $17Billion debt offering)
Oracle: Did not include any minority firms in its nine debt offerings.
CEO’s, Corporate Boards and C-Suites
Apple, Cisco, Ebay, Facebook, Google, HP, Intel, and Twitter and far too many technology companies have ZERO Blacks on their Board of Directors, and in their Executive C-suites.
BET’s report indicates that there are 177 Blacks on the Board of Directors of America’s 250 largest public companies. There report that there are 75 (30%) of these corporations with no Black Directors. BLACK ENTERPRISE reports that corporate boards have become less diverse over the past several years. According to a report from the Alliance of Board Diversity, in 2010 white men held 74.5% of board seats on the 500 largest publicly traded companies, versus 5.7% for African American men and 1.9% for African American women. By 2012, the percentage of African American male directors declined to 5.5%, while the percentage of African American female directors remained flat. White men continue to hold roughly 95% of board chair positions and 86% of lead director slots.
The Glass Ceiling report observes, "The world at the top of the corporate hierarchy does not yet look anything like America. Two-thirds of our population, and 57 percent of the working population, is female, or minorities, or both." The commission projects that this year, people of color and women will make up 62 percent of the workforce.
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Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.
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