How are the technology industry and Silicon Valley addressing workforce diversity, equality and inclusion? Check this ChannelE2E blog for ongoing updates. We track market research, corporate policies and initiatives designed to address social equality across:
education and access to opportunity;
recruiting and hiring practices;
executive leadership; and
Note: Blog originally published June 18, 2020. Ongoing updates thereafter. If you have an update to share, please email details to ChannelE2E’s Joe Panettieri (Joe@AfterNines.com).
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Alphabet and Google: Multiple updates…
Google announced a new hiring goal and security policy to address racial issues at its offices. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that by 2025, the company aims to have 30% more of its leaders be from underrepresented groups. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders are white or Asian, and 73% globally are men. Source: Reuters, June 18, 2020.
Google and parent company Alphabet Inc. are committing more than $175 million to advance Black businesses and entrepreneurs and are moving toward increasing representation of people of color in their leadership ranks. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 17, 2020.
More than 1,100 Google employees circulated a petition internally, calling for Google to end police contracts. The letter tells the company to “take real steps to dismantle racism” by cutting off business contracts with agencies. Source: CNBC, June 22, 2020.
Four female former employees of Google are trying to persuade a state court to let them represent more than 10,000 peers in a gender-pay disparity suit against the company, setting the stage for the next big battle over class-action status. Google denies the allegations. Source: Bloomberg, July 21, 2020.
Alphabet is proposing to tap the bond market at rock bottom yields, in a rare debt sale that will help combat racial inequality, among other sustainability projects. The parent company of Google is looking to fund organizations that support Black entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses impacted by Covid-19, as well as affordable housing, among other eligible proceeds listed in bond documents. Source: Bloomberg, August 3, 2020.
Amazon: Multiple updates…
Amazon has added the first Black member to its prestigious S-team, a group of executives that advises CEO Jeff Bezos. Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment, is joining the S-team — along with John Felton and Dave Treadwell — as consumer chief Jeff Wilke departs the company. Boler Davis joined Amazon last year after serving as a top lieutenant at GM. Source: Business Insider, August 21, 2020.
Amazon was sued for allegedly discriminating against Black and female workers in hiring employees for its corporate offices. The lawsuit, filed March 1, 2021 in federal court in Washington, alleges that Amazon hires people of color “at lower levels” and promotes them less than White co-workers with similar qualifications. The claims include discrimination and harassment as well as violations of the Equal Pay Act. Amazon didn’t respond to emails seeking comment on the suit. Source: Bloomberg, March 1, 2021.
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple: Multiple updates…
Apple’s head of diversity and inclusion Christie Smith has left the company. Her successor has not been named as of this report. Apple’s diversity and inclusion team will continue to report to Deirdre O’Brien, senior VP of retail and people. Source: Bloomberg, June 17, 2020.
More than half of new Apple hires in 2018 were Black, Hispanic or from other historically underrepresented groups in tech. Women accounted for 38 percent of Apple workforce under the age of 30, compared to 33 percent of the overall staff. Source: Bloomberg, June 17, 2020.
CEO Tim Cook said the company was starting a $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative focusing on criminal justice reform and expanding opportunities for people of color. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 18, 2020.
Apple is deepening its existing partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), adding 10 more HBCU regional coding centers that will serve as technology hubs for their campuses and broader communities. Source: Apple, July 16, 2020.
Apple has announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color, the technology giant says. Source: Apple, January 13, 2021.
Apple has launched an inaugural Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. Source: Apple, February 16, 2021.
Aryaka: CEO Matt Carter offered his thoughts on inclusion, diversity and equality in the interview below. Source: ChannelE2E, June 29, 2020.
Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition: See ongoing updates involving business policies, social issues and potential racial bias here. Source: ChannelE2E, January 2020 and ongoing thereafter.
Best Buy Diversity: Best Buy is committing more than $44 million to a five-year plan focused on staffing diversity and inclusion along with community efforts. Source: Chain Store Age, December 9, 2020.
BlackGirlsHack (BHG):RangeForce and BlackGirlsHack (BGH) are partnering to provide training resources to black girls and women, and increase representation and diversity in the cybersecurity field. Source: ChannelE2E, February 25, 2021.
Boardroom Diversity: A new group of U.S. companies is pledging to add a Black director to their boards within the next year in a bid to diversify and help accelerate more inclusion in corporate America. The moves are part of the Board Challenge, a pledge for boards to add a Black director within one year. The effort comes about a week after California lawmakers passed a bill that would require publicly traded companies based in the state to have at least one director from a minority community by the close of 2021. Source: The Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2020.
Canadian Businesses: Canadian technology leaders have formed an organization to eliminate racism and discrimination from the country’s innovation sector, BNN Bloomberg reports. Twenty-five people with ties to tech incubators, governments, start-ups, banks, academic institutions, investment businesses and insurance companies say they have launched the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR). Source: BNN Bloomberg, June 29, 2020.
Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems: Multiple updates…
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, addressing 3,000 partners at a major conference, called on employees, customers and partners to tackle social and community issues together. Source: ChannelE2E, November 5, 2019.
Cisco Systems has a new purpose — “Power an Inclusive Future for All” — and four related initiatives designed to deliver on that purpose, CEO Chuck Robbins says. Source: ChannelE2E, June 17, 2020.
During a series of Cisco online all-hands meetings in early June, some workers posted comments in messages channels that other staff and company management said were demeaning to Black people, exposing racial divisions at the Silicon Valley tech giant and leading to the dismissal of a number of people. On the flip side, some employees have complained that they can’t share differing views. ChannelE2E has not seen the comments that triggered firings. Source: Bloomberg, July 17, 2020.
Cisco Systems has vowed to increase the company’s workforce of Black people by 25% by 2023 in the entry-level to manager levels. In the director to vice president ranks, the San Jose, California-based company said it wants to raise black representation by 75%. Overall, Cisco pledged to create pay parity and promotion fairness. In the U.S., 3.8% of Cisco’s workers are Black, according to its most recent corporate and social responsibility report. For technical positions roles, the number falls to 3.3%, followed by 1.8% of vice presidents. There are no Black executives on Cisco’s leadership team. Source: Bloomberg, September 23, 2020.
Cisco provided an update on a legal case involving an employee who allegedly faced discrimination based on India’s caste system. Cisco claims no wrongdoing in the case, and notes that the employee is still working at the company in a new position. Source: Cisco Systems, November 3, 2020.
Cognizant:Cognizant has announced a five-year, $250 million effort to advance economic mobility, educational opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and health and well-being in communities around the world. Source: ChannelE2E, February 25, 2021.
Comcast: Multiple updates…
The media launched Comcast RISE, a program that “will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years.” The program offers grants, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants. Comcast RISE will roll out in waves, focusing first on U.S.-based Black-owned small businesses. In addition, all small businesses are able to sign up for free marketing insights and resources. The next wave of the program will open up eligibility to include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) — those next hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic. Source: Comcast, October 13, 2020.
Comcast is awarding 100 grants of $10,000 each to small business owners of color in Chester and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The grants are part of Comcast’s $100 million RISE initiative aiming to help businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. Source: KYW News Radio, February 28, 2021.
Compensation, Hiring and Wages: Multiple updates…
Hired Inc. Research: Job seekers who identified as Black or Hispanic tended to both expect and receive lower salary offers than their White and Asian peers over the past year, according to Hired Inc. Job seekers who identified as Black expected a $129,000 salary on average, with eventual offers averaging $134,000. White job applicants sought and received $138,000 and $144,000, respectively, while the figures for Asian candidates were $140,000 and $145,000. Source: The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2020.
Government Cybersecurity and AI Jobs: Changes in federal hiring practices are urgently needed to fill thousands of jobs in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence in the face of aggressive competition from the private sector, lawmakers and federal commissioners said. Source: The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2020.
Women CEOs: The rate of women taking over the top position at companies nationwide is ticking up in 2020, as calls for diversity and inclusion intensify around the country, according to a new analysis of CEO turnover data from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Of the 591 replacement CEOs recorded in the first half of 2020, 138, or 23.4%, were women, the highest rate recorded since Challenger began tracking gender data in 2010. That is up from 21.6% of female CEO replacements in the first half of 2019 and 18.6% in the first half of 2018. Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., July 17, 2020.
Chief Diversity Officers: The role of the chief diversity officer is no longer an obscure position in corporate America. About half of S&P 500 companies have a CDO, and 63% of those executives stepped into their roles in the last three years. Still, most large tech firms have seen little progress in recruiting and retaining more Black and brown employees since they began publishing data around workforce diversity. Source: The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2020.
Fined: DXC Technology has agreed to pay $650,000 to address compensation discrimination allegations. The allegations involved a company that pre-dates DXC’s formation through M&A in 2017. Source: Virginia Business, November 20, 2020.
United Kingdom: Only 11 out of 3,000 UK partners at Big Four audit and advisory firms are Black. Source: ConsultancyUK, July 6, 2020.
Ernst & Young: The company has launched the Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN), a business accelerator and executive-level educational program designed to elevate Black and Latinx-owned companies through access to mentors, resources and networks. Source: Ernst & Young, July 22, 2020.
Facebook: Multiple updates…
Several U.S. civil rights groups called upon some of the world’s largest companies to pause advertising on Facebook in July 2020, saying the social network is not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platforms. The groups, which include the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), launched the “#StopHateforProfit” campaign with a newspaper ad. Source: Reuters, June 17, 2020.
Facebook is committing to spend $1 billion per year on supporting U.S. companies that are owned by people of color, women, veterans, LGBT individuals or entrepreneurs with a disability. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 18, 2020.
Facebook plans to increase racial diversity among its own upper ranks, pledging to have 30 percent more people of color, including 30 percent more Black employees, in leadership roles over the next five years. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 18, 2020.
More than 65 percent of Facebook’s senior leadership roles are held by Whites, according to Facebook’s 2019 diversity report. Fewer than one-fourth are held by Asians, while Blacks and Hispanics only make up a combined 6.6 percent. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 18, 2020.
The company previously committed to have half of its workforce be from underrepresented communities by the end of 2023 and plans to double the number of Black and Latino employees over the same timeframe. Blacks make up 3.8 percent of Facebook’s overall workforce and Hispanics make up 5.2 percent. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 18, 2020.
A group of Black venture capital managers is pressing Silicon Valley’s largest firms to commit to including historically Black colleges and universities among their limited partners, the institutions and individuals that provide capital to VC funds and reap the returns, The Information reports. Lo Toney, who spun out Plexo Capital from Alphabet’s investing arm GV, is leading the effort. At least one VC firm is already considering such changes. Source: The Information, July 13, 2020.
Professional networks have formed in cities such as Chicago, Detroit and Miami in recent months to identify and recruit Black, Latino and other angel investors of color to fund tech entrepreneurs. At the same time, venture firms founded by women as well as racial and ethnic minorities are growing their profiles in raising funds to inject capital into startups. Participants say these new angel groups can build a foundation for generational wealth through investments in high-growth companies, while enabling minority entrepreneurs to access funds from a wider range of sources. Source: The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2020.
Imtiaz Shaikh, chief human resources officer, Hitachi Vantara
Hitachi Vantara: The storage specialist scored 95 (out of 100) on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The benchmarking survey and report measure corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality in the United States. Imtiaz Shaikh, chief human resources officer at Hitachi Vantara, shared more perspectives in this blog. Source: Hitachi Vantara, January 28, 2021.
IBM has apologized for firing computer pioneer Lynn Conway for being transgender. The apologize arrives 52 years after the computer giant fired Conway. Source: Forbes, November 18, 2020.
IBM will provide Harris-Stowe State University, an Historically Black Colleges and University, with $2 million in artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud technology resources to “help students build modern skills,” IBM and Harris-Stowe State University say. Among those driving the effort: Valinda Scarbro Kennedy, HBCU Program Lead, IBM Global University Programs. Source: IBM, January 5, 2021.
ISACA: The global technology association has launched a philanthropic foundation, One In Tech, to address inequity in IT through responsive, relevant programs designed to support under-resourced, under-represented populations. Source: ISACA, July 21, 2020.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said the company will “launch some new steps in the next week” to address racial diversity in the technology sector workforce, while calling the industry’s steps to address the issue thus far “not nearly enough.” Source: Meritalk, June 19. 2020.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in an email to employees, outlined several steps the company will take to help fight racial injustice. The Nadella email mentioned these three steps:
“Increasing our representation and culture of inclusion. We will build on our diversity and inclusion (D&I) momentum from the past five years by adding an additional $150M of D&I investment, and will double the number of Black and African American people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders in the United States by 2025.
Engaging our ecosystem. We will use our balance sheet and engagement with suppliers and partners to extend the vision for societal change throughout our ecosystem, creating new opportunities for them and the communities they serve.
Strengthening our communities. We will use the power of data, technology, and partnership to help improve the lives of Black and African American citizens across our country, including to address the safety and well-being of our own employees in the communities in which they live.”
Netflix will allocate about 2% of its cash holdings — currently about $100 million — to financial institutions and organizations that are dedicated to helping Black communities. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 30, 2020.
Oracle: The technology giant released the following staffing metrics:
Oracle’s U.S. workforce: 68.8% are men and 31.2% are women.
Overall workforce: Almost 60% of the overall workforce is white, 26.9% Asian, 6.5% Hispanic, 3.7% Black, 2.5% “two or more,” 0.4% Pacific Islander and 0.2% Native American.
Management ranks are 68.8% white and 28.2% Asian, with Hispanic and Black representation lower at 4.8% and 2%, respectively. It said management was 26.3% female.
PayPal Holdings: The company pledged $530 million to support minority-owned businesses and communities through community banks and credit unions focused on these groups, as well as direct investments into minority-led startups and minority-focused investment funds. Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 18, 2020.
Private Equity & Boardroom Diversity: Ten private equity firms have pledged to each create and post five board seats to make them available to minority and women candidates, participating in an initiative to increase diversity on company boards of directors. Key leaders in the effort include Robert F. Smith, CEO of Vista Equity Partners — parent of Datto. Source: Mergers and Acquisitions, June 30, 2020.
RangeForce:BlackGirlsHack (BGH) and RangeForce are partnering to provide training resources to black girls and women, and increase representation and diversity in the cybersecurity field. Source: ChannelE2E, February 25, 2021.
Research: Multiple updates…
Women of Color in Tech: NPower, a large nonprofit tech training program in the USA, has released a two-year study that takes an in-depth look at the obstacles young women of color face entering the technology industry and what the industry needs to overcome diversity barriers. Details are here.Source: EP&T, June 2020, 2020.
Murder of George Floyd: More than 85 percent of companies discussed the death of George Floyd with their teams and 57.7 percent of those firms said they are scheduling ongoing discussions on race, according to a survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The survey was conducted online between June 11 and June 20, 2020, among 150 Human Resources executives at companies of various sizes and industries nationwide. A former Minneapolis police officer, who is white, has been charged with murdering Floyd, a Black man.
Measuring & Addressing (Lack of ) Diversity in the Channel: What actionable steps can the channel take to address lack of diversity, inclusion and social injustice? The answer, according to Dave Sobel, involves actually measuring diversity in the channel and then taking concrete steps to improve on those metrics. Sobel took a look at publicly available information from 100 channel companies. Of the 876 channel leaders mentioned, 82.3 percent were White, 19.3 percent were female, and only 1.8 percent were Black. Sobel explains his methodology and goals in this video…
Reddit: The site has vowed to implement a new hate speech policy after years of complaints from volunteer moderators. The moderators claim racism is rampant across the Reddit website. Source: Bloomberg, June 18, 2020.
ScanSource: The distributor has launched a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) program. Also, Ken Peterson, senior director of human resources, takes on the additional role of chief diversity officer.
ServiceNow: The IT service management and workflow automation software company has created the ServiceNow Racial Equity Fund. The $100 million investment fund is designed to “drive more sustainable wealth creation by funding homeownership, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood revitalization within Black communities in 10 regions across the United States.” RBC Global Asset Management’s team will manage the fund. Source: ServiceNow, January 26, 2021.
Square: The company intends to invest $100 million in support of minority and underserved communities, including:
$25 million to deposits in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) in communities around the United States.
$25 million investment in The Keepers Fund sponsored by the National Bankers’ Association, a trade group representing minority-owned financial institutions that are committed to providing employment opportunities, entrepreneurial capital and economic revitalization in neighborhoods which often have little or no access to reasonably priced financial services.
$25 million investment in The Black Economic Development Fund managed by The Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), one of the country’s largest and most impactful social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize communities.
An additional $25 million reserved for future investment into social impact projects, to be announced at a later date.
Technology Industry Movements: Leaders from across the technology industry condemned racism and vowed to drive social equality. The outcry followed the murder of George Floyd — a Black man who was killed by a White Minneapolis police officer. The officer has been fired and faces murder charges. Source: ChannelE2E, June 2, 2020.
Trend Micro: The cybersecurity software provider has extended its partnership with Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit. Together, the two organizations will develop a large talent pool of women focused on the cybersecurity industry. Source: Trend Micro, July 2, 2020.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger
VMware: CEO Pat Gelsinger said that for any open position at the technology company, the hiring process will have to include consideration of both a woman and a minority candidate. Source: CNBC, June 19, 2020.
YouTube: The company is launching a $100 million content fund “dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories.” Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 18, 2020.
Note: Blog originally published June 18, 2020. Ongoing updates thereafter. If you have an update to share, please email details to ChannelE2E’s Joe Panettieri (Joe@AfterNines.com).