RAINBOW PUSH COALITION LAUNCHES NEW DIGITAL INCLUSION INITIATIVE
Rev. Jackson and delegation will attend eBay Annual Shareholder Meeting May 13 and Google Annual Shareholder Meeting May 14, 2014
Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition will participate in the upcoming eBay and Google Annual Shareholder Meetings to shine the light on the need to enhance and expand the participation of people of color in Silicon Valley and the tech industry: the pattern of minority exclusion and virtual absence of African Americans in corporate boardrooms, C-suites, financial transactions, advertising and professional services, and access to capital for minority entrepreneurs, must be transformed.
eBay Annual Shareholder Meeting
Tuesday, May 13 - 8:00am pst
Town Square, 2161 North First Street, San Jose, California
Google Annual Shareholder Meeting
May 14, 2014 - 2:00pm pst
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California
Earlier this year, Rev. Jackson wrote to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Google and other iconic Silicon Valley technology companies, saying, “Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day. 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.”
ZERO Blacks on Boards and in the C-suites
Tech powerhouses including EBay and Google, and new media companies like Twitter and Facebook - have ZERO Blacks on their Board of Directors and in their executive c-suites:
Black Enterprise magazine reported that 75 of the top 250 S&P 500 public companies do not have an African American on their Board of Directors. Whites made up 86.7% of total board seats, and women and minorities lost ground in America's corporate boardrooms between 2004 and 2010 (Alliance for Board Diversity, Aug 2013). There are just five Black CEOs – or 1% - of Fortune 500 companies; Latinos fare slightly better with eight CEO’s, 1.6%, and there are 22 women (The Guardian) at the helm of all Fortune 500 CEOs (www.DiversityInc.com/top50).
The “all-white” (and mostly male) syndrome should become a thing of the past, and the captains of Silicon Valley’s tech industry must take the lead in putting it to rest. Digital inclusion leads to greater opportunity, and that’s added value for Silicon Valley and America.
Participation in capital markets
The Rainbow PUSH report, “Minority Inclusion in Debt Capital Markets: A Ranking of Corporate Issuers,” revealed that iconic technology firms ranked in the survey: EBay ranked in Tier 4, using minority firms in four of its last six offerings; Google used women and minority firms in its IPO, and just one minority firm is its three recent debt offerings.
HP did not include any minority firms in 20 of its debt offerings; and Apple did not include any minority firms in its last 6 debt offerings; including it’s last two $17 and $12 Billion debt offerings, and Microsoft in Tier 3, admirably using minority firms in all of its last 14 debt offerings.
Eighteen American multinationals use tax havens abroad to avoid an estimated $92 billion in federal taxes; the top ten companies with overseas tax hoards are tech companies, including Microsoft ($76.4 billion); IBM ($44.4 billion); Cisco Systems ($41.3 billion); Apple ($40.4 billion); Hewlett-Packard ($33.4 billion); and Google ($33.3 billion). (http://www.businessinsider.com/tech-companies-hoard-cash-overseas-to-avoid-taxes-2013-8#ixzz2uSXZqCuY)
Tech leadership must reflect its consumer base:
Tech companies target Black and minority consumers - 24 million are internet users and 76% visit social media sites, according to Neilson. African-Americans have continued to outpace the total population with smartphone ownership. Google Search is the #1 search engine among African-Americans. Yet, of the $75 billion spent on television, magazine, internet, and radio advertising, only $2.24 billion of it was spent with media focused on Black audiences. Few, if any, tech companies utilize African American advertising or marketing agencies.
Rev. Jackson added, “At its best, technology can be a tremendously positive change agent for the world; at its worst, it can hold on to old patterns that exclude people of color and women from opportunity and advancement. Silicon Valley and the tech industry must transform itself to mirror the America it depends upon for talent and customers.”
Rainbow PUSH is seeking meetings with tech leaders to identify strategies and solutions to expand the participation of African American and people of color,” and to become partners based on reciprocity and mutual benefit.
Technology _ No Inclusion in Silicon Valley and the Technology Industry
Some facts and figures
CEO’s, Corporate Boards and C-Suites
eBay and Google, along with technology icons Apple, Cisco, Facebook, HP, Intel, and Twitter and far too many other companies have ZERO Blacks on their Board of Directors, and in their Executive C-suites.
11 Board members; 10 white male; 1 white female
8 top c-suite executives: 7 white males; 1 white female
The following information is derived from the Rainbow PUSH Survey (published February 2014) on minority participation in Capital Debt Markets between 2010-Sept 2013:
No technology companies in Tier 1
Tier 2 (IBM)
IBM: Used minority firms in 17 of its 20 debt offerings; 10 with just one; five with two; 5 with three or more.
Tier 3 (Microsoft)
Microsoft: In 100% of its 14 debt offerings, Microsoft included a minority firm; 3 with one firm; 8 with two firms; 3 with three of more.
Tier 4 (Ebay)
Ebay: 4 of its 6 debt offerings included a minority firm; all with just one minority firm.
Tier 5 (Google; HP; Apple; Oracle)
Google: Included several minority and women owned firms in its initial public offering in 2004; used one minority firm in all three of its debt offerings from 2009-13.
HP: Did not include any minority firms in 20 of its debt offerings
Apple: Did not include any minority firms in 6 of its debt offerings; including it’s latest $17Billion debt offering)
Oracle: Did not include any minority firms in its nine debt offerings.
BET’s reported in 2013 that there are 177 Blacks on the Board of Directors of America’s 250 largest public companies. There report that there are 75 (30%) of these corporations with no Black Directors. BLACK ENTERPRISE reports that corporate boards have become less diverse over the past several years. According to a report from the Alliance of Board Diversity, in 2010 white men held 74.5% of board seats on the 500 largest publicly traded companies, versus 5.7% for African American men and 1.9% for African American women. By 2012, the percentage of African American male directors declined to 5.5%, while the percentage of African American female directors remained flat. White men continue to hold roughly 95% of board chair positions and 86% of lead director slots.
The Glass Ceiling report observes, "The world at the top of the corporate hierarchy does not yet look anything like America. Two-thirds of our population, and 57 percent of the working population, is female, or minorities, or both." The commission projects that this year, people of color and women will make up 62 percent of the workforce.
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Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.
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