Menu
Jesse Jackson demands Twitter release employee diversity data

Jesse Jackson demands Twitter release employee diversity data

Jackson said black underrepresentation in tech companies cannot be explained by a lack of technical skills

U.S. civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson has called on Twitter to release its employee diversity information, which its Silicon Valley peers such as Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have already done.

The Rainbow Push Coalition, founded by Jackson, has also asked Twitter to signal its commitment to inclusion by hosting a public community forum to address the company's plan to recruit and retain more black talent.

The coalition and black empowerment group, ColorOfChange.org, plans to launch a Twitter-based campaign to challenge the company, the coalition said in a statement Thursday.

On Friday at the Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, ColorofChange will lead a "Black Twitter" plenary session where activists will push out the petition campaign over Twitter and other social media.

Tech companies have been under pressure to release employee diversity data since Jackson took up the campaign to highlight the underrepresentation of African-Americans in Silicon Valley companies, starting with a delegation to Hewlett-Packard's annual meeting of shareholders.

"....Twitter has remained silent, resisting and refusing to publicly disclose its EEO-1 workforce diversity/inclusion data," according to the joint petition by the coalition and ColorOfChange.org.

The diversity reports are typically filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and companies are not required to make the information public.

Twitter could not be immediately reached for comment.

The companies reporting worker demographics in response to Jackson have said that blacks account for a very small percentage of their employees in the U.S. 70 percent of Google's employees are men and 61 percent of its U.S. employees are white, according to the workforce diversity report it released in May. Blacks accounted for 2 percent of Google's U.S. workforce. Facebook provided similar data. In the U.S., 57 percent of the social network's workforce is white while blacks account for 2 percent.

But tech companies like Google find it difficult to recruit and retain women and minorities, wrote Laszlo Bock, Google's senior vice president for People Operations, in a blog post in May. Women earn roughly 18 percent of all computer science degrees in the U.S., and blacks and Hispanics each account for under 10 percent of U.S. college graduates and each bag fewer than 10 percent of degrees in computer science majors, he wrote.(

Jackson, however, holds that tech companies cannot explain away their hiring disparities by citing an issue with talent among blacks. The argument ignores the fact that black people are also severely underrepresented in nontechnical Silicon Valley roles, he said.

The civil rights leader said that the "blame-shifting tactics" of tech companies are misleading and "serve to reinforce the false and problematic narrative that Black people are simply 'unqualified,' undeserving and not valuable -- that Black-thought is unqualified, underserving and not valuable."

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuestwitterpersonnel

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments