“Rev. Jesse Jackson’s campaign on silicon valley is just as important as a march on police brutality in New York,” said Roland Martin this morning on his radio show News One Now.
Rev. Jesse Jackson has been pressuring big tech firms in silicon valley for months to release diversity data and hiring numbers. In the 1990s, Rev. Jackson applied the same pressure to media companies. Yesterday, Jackson’s campaign got results. Twitter released ethnicity data on their employees.
The issues of lack of access, lack of jobs and lack of opportunity for African Americans in the tech industry is the underlying issue Jackson is focused on.
“Twitter Is Mostly a White Male Company, Diversity Data Reveals,” wrote Lance Ulanoff for the powerhouse tech website Masable this morning. Jackson was joined by ColorofChange.org in his effort to put pressure on Twitter and other companies. Twitter is the first company to release detailed employee data.
Twitter has a high percentage of Black and Hispanic users. Some studies have indicated that users of twitter are between 30 to 45% Black. The phenomenon known as “Black twitter” has become a force when controversial issues pop up in the news.
Rev. Jackson is focused on the fact that big tech companies are using H1-B Visas to hire people from other countries and paying them cheaper wages while not hiring Americans who are graduates from HBCUs with the same tech skills. Jackson also wondered why Blacks aren’t being hired for some of the 60% of the non-tech jobs available at twitter.
“Of Twitter’s technology employees, a whopping 90% are men. For non-technical jobs, the split between genders is 50-50. What’s more, almost 80% of those in leadership positions are men (and 72% are white),” Ulanoff noted in Mashable.
“The racial injustice gap is bigger than the profit gap,” Jackson said referring to Facebook this morning.
“Black newspapers are going out of business because they can’t get ads,” Jackson said making the point that tech companies have millions in Black users but no investment in black communities.