An Open Letter to Silicon Valley Technology Companies
“Be Transparent – Release your EEO1 Workforce Data
June 2, 2014
Last week, Google voluntarily released its EEO-1 workforce data, detailing the race and gender characteristics of its workforce. Laszlo Bock, Google’s Sr. VP of People Operations wrote, “Put simply, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, and it’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly.”
I believe that Google, and companies like Intel that have publicly posted their EEO1 data, are taking bold, transparent steps in the right direction. Bock’s comment, “We’re the first to admit that Google is miles from where we want to be -- and that being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution,” is a clarion call to launch a new era of inclusion in Silicon Valley.
The lack of inclusion of Blacks, Latinos and women in technology is undeniable. The hard data are indisputable facts. In today’s world, when minorities will be California’s majority population in a few decades, and people of color will be the new majority of America in the 2040’s. These evolving developments are unfortunately unsustainable. That’s why I am urging the technology industry to transform its leadership teams, workforce and business partners to mirror the America it depends upon for talent and customers. Inclusion leads to growth, and when there is growth, everybody wins.
You can’t fix, what you don’t know, or what you don’t recognize. You have to pull the glass out of the wound, before the healing process can begin.
I urge you to voluntarily and publicly disclose your EEO-1 report and the racial and gender make up of your workforce in an expeditious manner. Take the glass out of the wound.
I am sure you would agree that transparency is a critical value necessary to maintain the trust and confidence of your consumers, and the general community. I am optimistic that you will respond positively to this appeal. I hope to hear from you in the next week about your plans and action in this regard.
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.
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
President and Founder
Rainbow PUSH Coalition