Jesse Jackson, 73, has done everything from run for president to negotiating with Saddam Hussein for the release of American hostages.
His latest challenge is tackling ‘racism’ at Silicon Valley companies according to Fortune.
On Wednesday, at a Silicon Valley summit organized by Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and hosted by Intel, the conversation was how to change the face of tech companies that for decades have been predominately young white and Asian men.
We found that when you leave out people of color you leave out a market that leads to growth. We have been challenging companies to give out their diversity data. We took our case to shareholder meetings. Intel was the first, then Google, then the others began to share the data. Everyone shares the same guilt, the same low numbers, Jackson said.
The focus of Wednesday’s half-day summit was to drill down on the problem and come up with solutions.
The tech industry is, after all, a solutions-oriented business, Jackson said.
USA Today reported that Yolanda Mangolini, Google’s director of global diversity, said widening the pipeline of talent is especially important at the search engine giant, half of whose workforce are engineers.
Silicon Valley leaves “too much genius on the table” by not including more diverse ideas and talent, which will translate into better ideas, products and — ultimately — sales.
“We just need someone to open the door for the next Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg,” he said.
Van Jones, founder of #YesWeCode, an ambitious project to teach 100,000 low-income youth to code, said the talent is out there: It just needs someone to provide opportunity.
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