In his May 28, 2014 blog post, Laszlo Bock, Google’s Senior VP of People of Operations, stated, “We’ve always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it’s time to be candid about the issues. 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, and with the facts.”
Today, Google released their 2015 EEO-1 and workforce diversity data. RainbowPUSH commends them for disclosing their data for the second straight year, fulfilling the commitment they made one year ago to Rainbow PUSH and the public at their May 2014 shareholder meeting.
Prior to Google’s initial release of their diversity data in May 2014, only Intel had consistently released their EEO-1 report and workforce diversity data. RainbowPUSH successfully engaged over 25 companies to release their data that thrust the issues of diversity and inclusion to the forefront of Silicon Valley’s agenda. The documented systemic underrepresentation of African Americans and Latinos in the boardrooms, c-suites and workforces in the tech industry could no longer be ignored.
Rev. Jackson said, “Google’s commitment to transparency and the release of their data is a good thing. While Google is making some progress in accelerating the hiring of Blacks and Latinos, their representation remains unchanged at just 2% and 3% respectfully.
Last year, RainbowPUSH asked, Who will step into the gap and invest in the underserved markets, underutilized talent and untapped capital – the wealth of talent and resources in communities of color. Who will disrupt the tech industry, with a vision, commitment and courage to help usher in a new era of diversity and inclusion?
Rev. Jackson said,
“Google’s initiative to embed engineers at Howard, Hampton a other HBCU’s is a major step in the right direction. 35% of African Americans receiving engineering degrees come from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, but few make it to Silicon Valley. There is no talent deficit, there’s an opportunity deficit. For example, over the past year Google is hiring Blacks in technical roles grew at a faster rate than Blacks in non-technical roles, and at a higher rate than for general hiring at Google.
Earlier this year, Google outlined its diversity strategy, including $150M in spend for 2015 to hire more diverse talent, build a long-term pipeline of diverse talent, and bridge the digital divide that exists for under-represented communities.
At its March 2015 shareholder meeting, Apple announced a major $50M initiative to partner with the Thurgood Marshall College fund to “identify, develop and harness talent from the nation’s community of Historically Black Colleges & Universities.
Intel is setting the pace: their diversity initiative, announced at CES in January 2015, sets a goal of full representation; its sets a timetable of 2020 to reach that goal; it puts in a budget of $300M to implement its goal; and Intel agreed to transparently measure their progress and tie executive compensation to their performance on meeting their diversity goals.”
Rev. Jackson added, “More companies must lean in on diversity and inclusion; much more must be done. While every company cannot match Intel’s ambitious plan, they can set concrete, measurable goals, targets and timetables. If they don’t measure it, they don’t mean it. Tech companies must move from the aspiration of “doing better” to concrete actionable hiring to move the needle. We aim to change the flow of the river. If you can educate, train and fine engineers in India, you can find them in Atlanta, Washington, DC and Oakland, too!”
“Companies need a concrete, measurable plan for inclusion; a plan for growth, to transform your companies and the industry to look like America and the new America and communities that you depend upon for growth and success,” said Rev. Jackson.
RainbowPUSH will ask tech companies to do just that when we call on tech companies to again release their EEO-1 reports and diversity data no later than September 1. In addition to the companies RainbowPUSH engaged last year, the organization will also reach out to Uber, Square, Airbnb and other emerging companies.
It’s time to change the conversation and expectation level. Our best days are ahead of us if all are included – we are the consumers of the future; we are also the innovators, creators and investors of the future.
“RainbowPUSH brings a value added argument to the tech equation: people of color and women represent money, consumer market, talent, and location – – inclusion leads to growth and expansion. And when there is growth, everybody wins. We all want the same thing.” commented Rev. Jackson.
President Obama said in Selma that “the march is not yet over.” In Silicon Valley, the march for diversity and inclusion is just beginning.
Silicon Valley technology companies are solving the world’s most challenging and complex problems facing our world. Diversity and Inclusion is a complex problem – if we put our collective minds to it, we can solve it, too. With creative and committed leadership, sensitivity and intent, we know it can be done. This is a long distance struggle – a marathon not a sprint – and we intend to win.“