Notification [x]
December 7, 2014
Rev. Jackson Identifies "Opportunity Deficit" for Minorities In Silicon Valley
 




Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Remarks before Microsoft Shareholder Meeting


On December 3, 2014, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Founder/President of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition spoke before Microsof's Shareholder Meeting lead by new Chairman John Thompson and gave the following remarks:

"Chairman Thompson, Mr. Nadella, Board members and Microsoft leaders, fellow shareholders:
I speak to you today representing the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, about the need to open up a new era of growth and inclusion of African Americans and people of color, and women, in the technology industry. 

But first, let me congratulate and commend our new leadership: Chairman John Thompson, with whom I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years – ascending from Florida A&M University, succeeding Bill Gates to become Chairman of our Board.

And to Satya Nadella – thank you for taking the time to meet with me this week, and to share your values of “learning and inclusiveness” that drive Microsoft in this ever changing global technological economy.

This past year, Rainbow PUSH Coalition has challenged companies to disclose their EEO-1 and workforce diversity data. We’ve researched the racial and gender composition of corporate boards and C-suite leadership.

The tech industry is data driven.  And the diversity and inclusion data are indisputable and undeniable:  the leadership and workforce of the technology industry does not look like America or reflect the population and consumers that it relies upon for success.

Most companies have between 0-3% Blacks in their tech workforce; virtually the same for their non-tech workforce.  Of the twenty companies we researched, there were only 3 African Americans out of 189 total Board Directors; just 1 Latino.   153 men and just 36 Women.  11 (over half) have all-white Boards.

Of 307 top “c-suite” leaders, there are just six African Americans and 3 Latinos.   244 Men and just 65 Women. 7 of the 20 companies have all white leadership.

To its credit, Microsoft demonstrates unusual inclusion with John and Satya occupying the top leadership positions of our company.  

More importantly, the technology industry is not capturing the tremendous value that will propel it into the future – after all African Americans, Latinos, people of color, women represent money, market, talent and location - - - - People of color are the biggest per capital users of social media and the internet – we use Microsoft software and play the Xbox. We use Windows, IPhones and android mobile phones.  We are the innovators of the future; the consumers of the future.

It’s time the Boards of Directors and C-suites and workforce transform themselves to look like the New America.  

We issue a Call to Action.  Now that the data has been delivered, let’s turn to the next steps to change the face of technology – to place inclusion, diversity and innovation at the forefront of the agenda.  Let’s set measurable goals, targets and timetables to move the needle.

Microsoft is uniquely position to lead this new era.   Inclusion and fairness is part of the DNA of Microsoft’s history.   Your supplier diversity program and business partnerships with minority businesses is at the top of the class; your Law Firm Diversity program is one which deserves to be replicated throughout the industry.

I argue there is no talent deficit, but an opportunity deficit.  And by tapping the unfound talent, untapped capital and underutilized markets in communities of color, the technology industry - looking forward - can unleash a new era of opportunity where everybody is included.

The tech industry has demonstrated that it can solve the most challenging complex problems 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. 

Access to technology and its boundless opportunities are this era’s civil rights imperative.   Our mission to ensure that Blacks, Latinos, people of color – women – everybody shares in this opportunity, and grows together.   Rainbow PUSH is seeking partners to change the face of technology.  In Microsoft, we find a willing partner who’s inspired and leadership can help set the pace.

Let’s win together.

Mr.  Chairman, if I might ask a few questions:

  • Will MICROSOFT commit to annually releasing its Equal Employment Opportunity report?
  • Will Microsoft commit to a by-law amendment that will require an explicit and active search for women and people of color for all future Board openings, and commit to a “Rooney-rule” like provision to mandate that women and people of color are included as part of any search for C-suite level positions?
  • Will MICROSOFT commit to the inclusion of Black and minority firms in debt offerings and future financial transactions?
  • Will MICROSOFT set goals, targets and timetables to measure its diversity and inclusion progress related to its workforce; supplier diversity; and the inclusion of people of color in your financial and professional services work.
  • Will Microsoft consider legislation that will provide tax credits to corporations who repatriate offshore profits back to the US, to be invested in a development bank aimed at reinvesting in America’s infrastructure, and establishing a Technology/education Inclusion Fund?
  • What programs will Microsoft put in place; and what partnerships (locally and nationally) can be designed and expanded to build the pipeline needed to create a 21st century, multi-racial, inclusive workforce?

   
Thank you again for the opportunity to speak to you today.   Let’s make the technology industry look like America.  Inclusion leads to growth, and where there is growth, everybody wins.  Let’s grow and let’s win.
What Criminal Laws Protect Reporters From Assault?
It is generally understood that journalists and reporters are protected under the First Amendment. Unfortun...


Northern California Farmer Facing $2.8M Fine for Plowing Protected Wetlands
A Northern California farmer from Tehama County is facing a federal court action seeking nearly $3 million ...


Man With Real Guns, Knives Arrested at Phoenix Comicon
Comic-Con gatherings give superhero and sci-fi fans the opportunity to dress as their favorite characters a...


North Carolina Lifts Transgender Bathroom Ban, Gets NBA All-Star Game Back
Last year, North Carolina passed HB2, a law that prohibited cities within the state from passing anti-LGBT ...


San Francisco Ban on Public Nudity Ruled Constitutional by Ninth Circuit
Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to San Francisco's controversial law ban...


Chipotle Sued for Covering Up Bathroom Spying
Last month, an 18-year-old manager of a Texas Chipotle was arrested for placing a spy camera in the women's...


Tips for Finding Hidden Assets in a Divorce
Chances are, if you're getting divorced, you already feel like your spouse hasn't told you everything. Espe...


What Is a Secured Creditor?
Even if your small business is filing for bankruptcy, there may still be some debts you'll need to repay. A...


Police and School Sued After Interrogated Teen Commits Suicide
The parents of a deceased 16-year-old high school student in Chicago have sued the police, school, and indi...


Wikimedia Clears Legal Hurdle in Surveillance Suit Against NSA
Back in March of 2015, Wikimedia, with help from the ACLU, sued the National Security Agency and the U.S. D...


How to Challenge a Hit and Run Charge
The penalty for criminal hit and run charges can be much more severe than many people expect. In some juris...


Top 3 Workplace Protections for Pregnant Employees
Although nearly all employers, by now, know that discriminating against pregnant employees is illegal, some...


Judge Rules: You Have to Be a Sibling to Inherit Prince's Wealth
The rightful heirs to estate of the late artist, Prince, have finally been identified by a Minnesota probat...


5 Signs of Age Discrimination
When a person reaches a certain age, to nearly everyone's surprise on their birthday, nothing actually happ...


5 Estate Planning Tips for Non-U.S. Citizens
Estate planning, although necessary, is never fun. Between federal estate taxes and state inheritance laws,...


What Happens When You Don't Comply With a Subpoena?
Investigations, criminal and otherwise, need cooperative witnesses to supply evidence. In some cases, that ...


Is Your Online Affiliate Program Being Used to Launder Money?
Ecommerce can be amazing. With a few simple clicks, a small business can be online in minutes, selling prod...


Are Anti-Gay Assaults Hate Crimes?
Nearly every state and the federal government has hate crime statutes that can increase penalties for crime...


Dram Shop Lawsuit: 2 Staten Island Establishments Sued for 1 Crash
In February 2015, two drunk drivers crashed head-on in Staten Island, New York, which left William Cuffee, ...


If We Never Married, Do I Have to Pay Child Support?
Child support is an inescapable obligation. Even if you were never married to your co-parent, the law still...


Favorites
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Magnolia
StumbleUpon
Google
Yahoo
Technorati
BlinkList