Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
And Rainbow PUSH Coalition Commend Tim Cook and
Apple for Releasing their Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Data
August 12, 2014
Today, Apple joined the growing list of companies that are releasing data on the race and gender make up of their workforce. This is another positive step forward for the industry, and a sign of the success of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s public appeal to Apple and about 20 other technology companies to release their EEO-1 and workforce data. A new climate of change, hope and progress is now gripping Silicon Valley and the high tech industry.
Apple’s data is relatively better than its counterparts, with Latinos 14% and Blacks 9% of non-tech employees; and 7% Latino and 6% Black in tech specific jobs. Women comprise just 30% of Apple’s global workforce. It reports that 64 percent of Apple's top leadership in America are white. Another 21 percent are Asian, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 3 percent are black.
Rainbow PUSH met with Apple’s leadership team in April, and appealed to them to commit even greater focus to diversity and inclusion. We said at the time, “As one of Silicon Valley and the technology’s industry’s most visionary and progressive leaders, I challenge you to “lean in and lean forward” and innovate with inclusion and diversity.” Tim Cook and Apple are taking steps in the right direction.
Rev. Jackson said “I called Tim Cook’s office this morning to personally commend him for stepping up to the plate to make the announcement. It shows his personal commitment and his leadership. I urge him to take further bold steps to make Apple better, and leverage his leadership to make the whole industry better.
Rainbow PUSH will be convening a public forum this fall to engage companies and communities to identify strategies and solutions to move the needle and truly “change the face of technology.”
“Apple data release is another sign that barriers and walls continue to come down, and new bridges can now be built. As Apple and other companies are quick to note, there is much work to be done. 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 resemble the America it depends upon for talent and customers.
We over-index as consumers, but under-index in the boardrooms, C-suites, business partners and workforce. Let’s not limit growth. After all, diversity and inclusion is good for business. African Americans, Latinos, and women represent money, market, talent and location. Inclusion is the key to growth, and when there is growth everybody wins. Let’s expand the marketplace of opportunity.”
Technology companies who are serious about moving the needle must put a real plan in place: set goals, targets and timetables regarding diversity and inclusion on their Boards, their c-suite leadership and their general employee base. They must seriously partner with African Americans, Latinos and people of color in "mutually beneficial, reciprocal, fair trade" in areas of financial and professional services, marketing and advertising, and procurement. We call that Equanomics – seeking equity and parity, using an economic lens to measure race equality. Treat inclusion and diversity just as you would any serious, business line of a company, and measure it.
Rainbow PUSH’s presence in Silicon Valley is not a hostile takeover, but a pathway to partnership. To be truly global companies with global vision, the technology and telecommunications world must be truly global in its inclusion policies and practices. Rainbow PUSH trusts that solutions can be identified and executed. Nothing is too hard for Silicon Valley and the technology industry.
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. There’s nothing we can’t do, together.
Background on Rainbow PUSH Digital Connections Initiative: March – July 2014
In just a few months, Rainbow PUSH’s advocacy and public engagement has created a new climate of change is sweeping through Silicon Valley. It’s the civil rights imperative of this era.
In a direct dialogue with David Drummond and leaders of Google at their meeting in May (view video of the shareholder meeting at
http://rainbowpush.org/news/single/Rev_Jesse_Jackson_Applauds_Googles_Release_of_EEO1_Data), Google responded directly by saying their were wrong not to release their data to the public, and committed to doing so.
Rainbow PUSH commended Google for releasing their data, and then challenged through a Open Letter and direct communications to Yahoo, LinkedIn, Pandora, eBay, Apple, Salesforce, EBay, Amazon, Yelp - 20 companies in total – to follow this “transparency movement, to come out from under the veil of secrecy, and release their EEO-1 and workforce data.
Within weeks, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Facebook, Salesforce, Microsoft, Verizon, Comcast, and ATT responded positively. (http://rainbowpush.org/news)
Launching an online petition drive, and using social media and EBay to challenge EBay’s secrecy, the Rainbow PUSH/Color of Change campaign delivered 25,000 petitions in 5 days.
Twitter released their data last week, and now eBay has joined in.
VMware released workforce data ONLY regarding women in their workforce, astonishingly omitting any reference to the racial composition of their employee base.
Pandora and Apple indicated to Rainbow PUSH and the media that they, too, would join the “transparency movement” and release their data in the near future.
To their credit, Intel, HP and Cisco have long posted their EEO-1 workforce data on their websites.
The community has its goals and targets: inclusion on the boards, in the c-suites and in the workforce at levels comparable to our consumer use and population. There should be minority inclusion in financial and professional services, marketing and advertising, procurement and supplier diversity.
The community has timetables: each year, we will measure the outcomes and progress, or lack thereof, of the tech industry’s inclusion and diversity practices.
In this new era of transparency and change, RainbowPUSH issues this call to action to the community and tech industry:
Silicon Valley must evolve and expand to look like America, and mirror American values and principles.
We must even the playing field and play 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.
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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