Today at Hewlett Packard's annual shareholder meeting, Reverend Jesse Jackson will launch a campaign to bring awareness to the lack of diversity in technology companies, calling out big players like Apple and Google.
"Patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day."
Jackson wants Silicon Valley to address its lack of racial diversity not only in hiring, but also on companies' executive boards. In a letter issued under the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a nonprofit organization focusing on social justice that Jackson cofounded, the Reverend shames tech companies for pushing boundaries in all areas but diversity. "Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day," Jackson writes. "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."
This isn't the first time Silicon Valley has been shamed for its dearth of minorities and women. Apple was recently criticized for only having one woman, ex-Avon CEO Andrea Jung, on its board of directors, and many people including shareholders and activists voiced concerns about white males dominating the company and the industry as whole. Apple responded by revising its corporate charter to specifically say that it will actively seek out women and minorities for board seats in the future.