Political activist the Reverend Jesse Jackson has launched a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the lack of racial diversity in the executive ranks of Silicon Valley firms, including Apple. (From AppleInsider)
“Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day,” Jackson wrote in a letter issued under the Rainbow PUSH Coalition banner. “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. Rainbow PUSH is seeking meetings with tech leaders to address these ZEROES head on.”
The coalition distributed the letter to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Google and “other iconic Silicon Valley technology companies.” This is not the first time Apple has been highlighted for a lack of diversity in its executive ranks.
January saw Apple making a move to alter the charter of its Nominating and Corporate Governance committee to include language about a commitment to diversifying the makeup of the board.
The bylaws were changed to read: “The Committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen.”
Apple has one female board member, former Avon CEO Andrea Jung, while only two females currently report directly to the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, communications vice president Katie Cotton and human resources head Denise Young-Smith — an African-American – incoming retail chief Angela Ahrendts will be the first woman on Apple’s senior leadership team when she reports for work later this spring.