Tuesday, November 18, 2014

12233: Surveying Silicon Valley.


Survey: Few blacks, Hispanics among top tech executives

By Jessica Guynn, USATODAY

SAN FRANCISCO — Missing on the management teams of major technology companies: Blacks and Hispanics.

That’s according to a new survey from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Of the 307 top executives at 22 companies, six are black and three are Hispanic, the survey found. That’s less than 3%.

Seven of the companies, including Amazon.com and Facebook, have no blacks or Hispanics among the top executives.

Rainbow PUSH Coalition defined top leadership by the executives that the companies list on their websites.

Of the major tech companies, Apple has two black executives: Lisa Jackson, vice president of environmental initiatives; and Denise Young Smith, vice president of worldwide human resources.

Google has one: David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer. And Hewlett-Packard has one Hispanic executive: Henry Gomez, executive vice president, and chief marketing and communications officer.

Rev. Jesse Jackson says the numbers reflect an entrenched pattern of exclusion in the high-tech industry, which mostly employs white and Asian men.

“Tech companies cannot afford to continue to lock out blacks, Latinos and women who comprise the consumer base companies depend upon to win,” Jackson said. “Their C-suites, boards of directors, supplier and vendor base, and workforce must look like America.”

Major tech companies have begun owning up to the fact that blacks and Hispanics are vastly underrepresented in their ranks.

In recent months, they have made public the racial and gender make up of their work forces.

The reports have confirmed what many had suspected: Staffers are mostly white, Asian and male, and blacks and Hispanics make up a tiny percentage of workers, whether they’re in technical or non-technical roles or in management.

For example, according to figures Facebook released in June, 74% of its senior-level employees in the U.S. are white and 19% are Asian. Hispanics account for 4% and African Americans for 2% of employees in management.

At Amazon.com, 71% of U.S. managers are white and 18% are Asian. Hispanics and blacks each account for 4% of managers.

Last month another Rainbow PUSH Coalition survey found that three blacks and one Hispanic sit on the boards of directors of 20 major technology companies.

In all, four out of 189 directors are black or Hispanic, the survey found.

Eleven of the 20 companies — including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, eBay and Google— have no one of color on their boards.

Just three companies — Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com — have a black or Hispanic on their boards, according to the survey.

That means 1.6% of board members at major high-tech companies are black and .5% are Hispanic.

By way of comparison, blacks hold 7.4% and Hispanics hold 3.3% of board seats in the Fortune 500, according to the Alliance for Board Diversity.

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