NEXT STEPS TO CHANGE THE FACE OF TECHNOLOGY
THE RAINBOW PUSH SILICON VALLEY DIGITAL CONNECTIONS INITIATIVE WILL HOST A TECH FORUM focusing on the next steps needed to design and implement comprehensive inclusion and diversity in the technology industry. The forum will be held at Intel Corporation 11-4pm, on December 10, 2014, SC-12 Auditorium - 3600 Juliette Lane, Santa Clara, CA. The dialogue will take place from 11am-3pm, followed by an informal reception.
Rev. Jackson will present a keynote, with “Ted-talk-like” presentations from technology companies, the education community, community technology service providers, minority businesses, and others. The forum is designed to be up-close and personal, with interactive and engaging panel discussions.
To date over 25 tech companies have confirmed their attendance, as well as key community tech organizations including #YesWeCode, Code2040, WCIT, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Hack the Hood, Black Girls Code and others. Tech entrepreneurs, VC’s, and minority businesses will also be part of the PUSH.
Silicon Valley and the technology industry are data driven. This past year, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition has effectively appealed to technology companies to release their EEO-1 reports and/or workforce diversity and inclusion data. In just a few short months, a new climate of transparency and change has emerged and over twenty companies have now publicly posted their workforce diversity data.
The workforce diversity/inclusion data released by numerous technology companies is a wake-up call for change. The facts are indisputable: African Americans, Latinos, women are woefully under-represented in the boardrooms, top leadership and general workforce (tech and non-tech).
Revealing the data and being transparent is just a first step, and there is much more work to be done to meet the challenge of transforming the tech industry to resemble the America it depends upon for talent and customers.
This “next steps for technology” forum is intended to begin an open and frank dialogue on the changes, strategies and programs that companies can put into play to “move the needle” on diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. The workshop will begin to examine the policies and practices that have held progress back; and to identify best practices and new strategies for change.
It is our hope that technology companies will accelerate the process of putting a real, industry-wide plan in place: Annually release the diversity data. Set goals, targets and timetables regarding diversity and inclusion on their Boards, their c-suite leadership and their general employee base. Expand minority and women’s participation in financial and professional services, marketing and advertising, supplier diversity and procurement.
At its best, technology can be a tremendously positive change agent for the world. Silicon Valley and the tech industry have demonstrated that you 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. We trust that solutions can be identified and executed. Nothing is too hard for Silicon Valley and the technology industry.
We hope you and your company can participate in this critical “next steps” workshop conversation. Let’s set an even playing field where everyone plays by one set of rules. Let’s close these gaps together. Let all of share in America’s growth and opportunity. Let’s win together.
Keep Hope Alive,
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
President and Founder
Rainbow PUSH Coalition