Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow PUSH Coalition Statement on
Facebook’s Decision to Release its Workforce Data
June 25, 2014
Three weeks ago, Rainbow PUSH made a direct and public appeal for Silicon Valley technology companies to release their EEO-1 reports and workforce data.
Today, Facebook positively responded and posted its workforce data. Facebook joins a growing list of companies - Intel, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Cisco and others - that are confronting the lack of diversity and inclusion, with integrity and transparency. This is a step in the right direction.
But the numbers tell the story. Blacks and Latinos are being left out of the technology revolution. Facebook reports that its overall workforce is just 4% Latino and 2% Black; 69% male and 31% women overall. Hispanics make up jus 4% and Blacks 1% of senior level positions.
Truly there is a long way to go to break the virtual exclusion of Blacks and Latinos from Silicon Valley’s technology industry. The tech industry is perhaps the worst industry in the nation when it comes to inclusion, and their paltry workforce data extends to the composition of their Boards of Directors and C-suite leadership.
So Rainbow PUSH will continue to monitor the progress of the technology industry. Rev. Jackson added, “They must set specific, measurable goals, targets and timetables, just like they do other priority business lines. Rainbow PUSH will continue to press other firms to confront reality and release their EEO-1 and workforce data. We will measure their results and hold companies publicly accountable.”
Rainbow PUSH is working with companies, educators and students to build an effective pipeline from Black and Latino communities to jobs in the tech industry. Representatives from Google, HP, Facebook, and Intel will all be participating in the Rainbow PUSH Annual Conference in Chicago, June 28-July 2nd to forge new strategies and partnerships that can move the needle regarding minority inclusion in Silicon Valley and the tech industry.
He added, “Silicon Valley and the tech industry have demonstrated that it can solve the most challenging complex problem in the world. Inclusion is a complex problem – if we put our collective minds to it, we can solve it, too. There’s nothing we can’t do, together. When women lean in, so must Blacks and Latinos move forward. Everyone must be included.”
Blacks and Latinos are biggest per capital user of social media and the Internet – we use computers and printers; we use I-Phones and androids. They are a huge part of your customer base. It’s time the Boards of Directors and C-suites and the workforce of technology companies begin to reflect its customer base.
At its best, Silicon Valley 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. Rev. Jackson concluded, “Silicon Valley must evolve and expand to look like America, and mirror American values and principles – we must even the playing field and play by one set of rules.”