Who knew Silicon Valley is racist!
Or is that where the money is? Jesse Jackson attended Hewlett-Packard’s annual shareholders meeting to spotlight the lack of minorities in high tech. Jackson claims that technology companies discriminate disproportionately in the hiring of “blacks and browns.”
According to Jackson, the comparison of blacks not getting high tech jobs versus blacks USE of high-tech is out of whack, or as Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine put it, “…companies don’t come close to hiring or spending what is commensurate with the demographics of their customers.”
Holy FUBU, as only one in 14 tech workers is black or Latino both in Silicon Valley and nationally. Blacks and Hispanics make up 13.1 and 16.9 percent of the U.S. population, respectively, according to the most recent census data.
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“Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day,” Jackson wrote in a letter released Monday to Apple Inc., Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Google Inc. and others.
Jackson claims that he isn’t targeting HP, he’s just using the company’s annual meeting to highlight the broader issue. And the broader issue is that Jackson’s shakedown tactics are less effective, so he’s stretching for something new.
Want some irony? As recently as 2011, Allstate, in alliance with Jackson’s RainbowPUSH organization, recognized HP for its commitment to diversity.
Here’s more, “Today, HP is the largest company in the world with both a female CEO and CFO and nearly half of our leadership team and Board of Directors are women and minorities. Additionally, nearly 50 years ago, HP established the first Minority Business Program in the United States.” That comment was from a Latino Executive VP of HP.