Archived: EXCLUSIVE: Rev. Jesse JacksonWhy Diversity In Silicon Valley Matters

The stunning lack of diversity in the tech industry is no secret; Silicon Valley’s major players have been trying to keep it under wraps for years, going as far as filing lawsuits to prevent the release of their EEO-1 data.


This year, the truths finally started to trickle out. Yahoo!, Google, Twitter and Apple all released their EEO-1 reports, information filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that discloses the demographics of each company’s workforce. Twitter went public (with nothing but white men on their board of directors).

Reverend Jesse Jackson has been heaping pressure on Silicon Valley companies to share their workforce data publicly, and is now focusing on increasing opportunities for Blacks, Latinos and women in the tech industry.

In this exclusive sitdown with DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti, Reverend Jackson shares just what these companies are missing out on. Imagine if the NBA had never scouted Michael Jordan. Imagine if Jackie Robinson never got the chance to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. To maximize success—which comes in the forms of innovation and profits in Silicon Valley—you must be accessing the entire talent pool.

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