Boards of directors reflect male-dominated tech world

“We know big-name tech CEOs want no part of the diversity debate. But at least we know who they are,” Jon Swartz writes for USA Today. “Largely anonymous boards of directors for the tech industry are conspicuously silent and – for decades – have been the province of white, older men. They are equally to blame for hiring trends that skew toward younger, white males, as illustrated in diversity reports recently released by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.”

“Progress on boards for women has been glacial, and nearly non-existent for African-Americans and Hispanics. White men held about 75% of the board seats on the 500 largest publicly traded companies, vs. 5.5% for male African-Americans in 2012, the most recent year in which data was available, according to the Alliance for Board Diversity,” Swartz writes. “A Bloomberg story Tuesday offered more depressing news: It said 82% of S&P 500 board members are male.”

“So far, the woeful figures have been accompanied by official comments from human resources representatives – and conspicuous silence from CEOs, save for Apple CEO Tim Cook,” Swartz writes. “Apple added Susan Wagner to its board in July amid a vow by Cook to diversify it.”

“The usually loquacious Jesse Jackson, who has pressed Silicon Valley to share its diversity numbers, is at a loss to explain why such an open-minded, socially-conscious industry is so exclusionary,” Swartz writes. “‘It’s amazing,’ Jackson said in a recent phone interview. ‘There are plenty of qualified African-Americans, but not much change.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
A message from Apple CEO Tim Cook on diversity – August 12, 2014
Jesse Jackson calls on Obama to scrutinize tech industry’s ‘lack of diversity’ – July 28, 2014
Tim Cook: Apple will release diversity data ‘at some point’ – July 9, 2014
Jesse Jackson targets tech’s lack of diversity; sends letter to Apple, Google, HP, others – March 19, 2014
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. blames Apple iPad for killing thousands of American jobs – April 16, 2011

46 Comments

  1. One way to stop all the rampant sexism in the tech world would be for MDN to drop all the syndicated ads that seem to be aimed at repressed male viewers.

    Boob jobs, trophy wives, body paint?

    These are the ads we “need” on tech sites.

      1. Your response is completely inappropriate.

        While I AM in business for myself, whether or not terrym10 is in business for himself/herself is absolutely irrelevant to the objection to these specific ads. I’ve seen the ads being referenced.

        While I don’t find them objectionable, I do believe they are not appropriate for a tech website that purports to be a new aggregator for Mac and Apple related information. The ads have nothing to do with Apple or the Mac and definitely objectify women — some of them could easily be considered NSFW.

            1. Ease up, Slim.

              Do you remember PCM/CIA?

              Personal Computer Memory Card International Association?

              Or…people can’t memorize computer industry acronyms.

              Never hide the meaning of jargon.

            1. Well, DUH! Advertising makes money! I just hate it when the ads are irrevelvamt. This reminds me of the time an ad partner tried to get me to put banner ads for Autism Speaks on my website, even though I did not agree with their politics. I never put ads on my site that contradict my opinions. MDN shouldn’t either.

            2. Then Chris baby, ya’ need to start your own Mac website, hell, call it WhitneyMacNewsAndIPickTheAdvertisersThatDontOffendMe.com. Hope you have great success with it, you might even put MDN outta business!

      2. MDN? MDN? Where is that software filter? Yes, I know, you don’t have time to check all posts. Just software. That, alone, would eliminate most of the posts from pustulating pestilence that is the “mind” of botvijerk.

      3. OOH… we hit a nerve. Well, I have been in business for myself. I have also implemented many web syndicated ad feeds that do not reflect the prurient interests of the 134 year old mind. Since you’re so adamant about this, I suspect you are one of the people who admins this site.

      4. Wow! His Alzheimer’s is really acting up today. Poor botvinnik. He usually gets a a couple of actual semi-replies in before he starts spewing. Today it is IMMEDIATELY into insults and obscenity.

        1. I don’t know about having it over their entire bodies, that might be too much to ask for. A relationship requires empathy and reason for your partner, afterall. But at the least I’d say having the paint covering their lusciously-enhanced breasts with some nipple tassels. That’s how you keep a man happy.

  2. I am intrigued by “… equally to blame for hiring trends that skew toward younger, white males, as illustrated in diversity reports recently released by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter” statement given that all had a lower percentage of white employees than exists in general society! Granted that there are not many women, but if you look at college students, you will find far fewer women than men in the sciences, still. Are we supposed to prefer diversity over quality? New American motto: diverse mediocrity is our goal!

    1. I think that what we’re after is the encouragement of females and other underrepresented groups to enter the world of tech. More girls in math, science et. al. means more females in college programs, equals more hires at the professional level. No one is suggesting dumbing down to make the diversity numbers better. I think ultimately smartening up would make the diversity picture more reflective of other industries and institutions.

  3. Here we go again! How many amazing female CEOs and leaders do we know of? Pelosi, Hillary, Leona? Beyond awful! If a man can do it better, hire them! This politically correct crap has gone too far. Men are often great CEOs! I can think of one in particular. Liberals can shove this one where the sun don’t shine! Men are awesome!!!!

    1. My opinion: If there are qualified ones, put them in there, but if there are none good enough, don’t put in clueless people just to mix up the faces on the board. And that goes for anybody, race or sex or whatever. I believe Apple would put anyone on a board, committee, or product assignment they respected who was ultra smart.

  4. (Jesse Jackson is ‘lost to explain why Silicon Valley is so exclusionary?”)

    as I posted yesterday:

    Caltech enrolment:

    whites: 31%
    Asians: 40%
    African American: 2%

    (just one example. I even posted yesterday stats from heavily African American populated states that reflect the same issues)
    EASY Answer to the honourable Jesse Jackson: the reason why “Silicon Valley is so exclusionary” is that there are SO FEW AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO WANT TO STUDY TECH!…. )

    Before the ‘loquacious’ Jesse Jackson spouts off about lack of diversity in Silicon Valley perhaps he should ask WHY so few African Americans pursue tech as a course of study? perhaps HE SHOULD SPEND MORE ENERGY USING HIS ‘LOQUACIOUSNESS’ IN GETTING MORE AFRICAN AMERICANS TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT STUDYING TECH instead of WASTING HIS TIME BEATING UP ON APPLE ETC who are finding it freaking hard to hire qualified people (see the ‘no-poaching’ case) ?”

    I’m not anti african Americans by any means, I admire a lot of them (hey the richest self made woman in USA is Oprah! who overcame all kinds of odds, I’ve read bios on her to learn ) but FAIR is FAIR. Diversity in Tech industry should take into consideration GRADUATION PERCENTAGES otherwise it would be UNFAIR to those other groups who spent so much time and effort studying and mastering it. If you were an Asian Apple would have to FIRE you to adhere to diversity percentages as asians in Apple already EXCEED them!

    It’s also unfair to those African Americans who are proud they made it on their own merits in tech, weird ‘Diversity’ rules would taint their accomplishments forever.

    1. Jackson and people of his ilk are professional muckrakers. He is an instigator, a provocateur. He earns his living being an outside antagonist. He requires the appearance of “isms” to make a living. If there is no racism, he is irrelevant.

      Your Caltech enrollment example is spot on. The problem is not at the tech companies. The problem is not at Caltech.

      The problem starts from the moment a child is born into a culture that disparages and trivializes education. The problem starts from the moment a child is born into a situation in which he is told that others, in particular white people, are responsible for all that is wrong in his life.

      The problem progresses as no one tells this child that he/she can be anything he/she wants. They just have to apply themselves.

      The problem grows as the dominant art form the child is exposed to espouses misogyny, violence, xenophobia, hate, blame, racism, crime and general antisocial behavior. And even if this child is able to somehow escape all of this, they certainly won’t be entering college as a Computer Science/Engineering major. They’ll be lucky if they’ve learned how to read by the time they graduate high school.

      Blacks have been deeply harmed by the coddling apologists of the left. As a group we epitomize the long term results of entitlement programs and progressivism. We wallow in a stagnant culture that the entertainment industry loves to promote for some reason. And we are used by progressives to say “more needs to be done.”

      Jesse Jackson is at a loss because the only thing obviously to blame is his ideology.

      We black folks need to return to our conservative roots, when FAMILY was important. Respect for our parents. You ate dinner at the table with your family. There was a time when we lived in our own Mayberry like neighborhoods, everyone knew everyone else, and we were progressing. Yes there were Jim Crow laws and oppressive racism, but somehow we were continuing to thrive.

      Then the government came to help. At first they did, with civil rights legislation. Unfortunately they didn’t stop there.

      Bottom line, anyone can learn.

      The problem is what they learn. By the time this kid and those around him are adults, they’ll be lucky to get jobs washing cars. Really lucky as most of those jobs go to illegal immigrants. So we wind up with double digit black unemployment, and people still want to blame racism in a country with a black President.

      Look at all these young engineers in training…

      1. Agree with you 100%. And Yep. The video kid is a prime example of why he and others are headed for a no job future, that’s for sure.
        I hope Ben Carson runs for President. First candidate with a real brain we’ve been offered in years. He has my vote for sure.

      2. Jesse Jackson is an awesome provocateur. He also praised Apple for its diversity report. In no way did he make any claim as to the reason for the diversity picture as painted today.

        And for all you shouters, he did it. He got you interested in the question. That’s what a great provocateur does.

  5. American businessmen are narcissists who only like what looks like them. Them there’s Carly, Meg, Marissa and Barack. They think minorities are incapable of adding value period. White men think only they can get it right. America is as racist and sexist as ever. It cannot be changed.

    1. “They think minorities are incapable of adding value period.”

      to the best of my knowledge Asians are also a minority…
      why are there so high percentages of them in Silicon Valley firms if they think minorities are incapable?

      (not saying there are no prejudices or problems everywhere in USA but S.Valley is more merit based than most as tech is extremely competitive. S.Valley diversity issues I give my opinion in my earlier post above )

  6. I notice that most of the comments on diversity come from people who have only experienced the hiring process from the employee side. My experience with the employer side is that any job worth having attracts dozens or hundreds of applicants. Roughly half the applicants are fully qualified to do the job. From ten to twenty percent are so qualified that any one of them might be the best employee on any given workday. Deciding which one gets the job involves a subjective judgment of who has personal and professional qualities that make them the best fit with coworkers and clients.

    Affirmative action is about resolving virtual ties in favor of applicants who reflect the demographics of the community, rather in favor of those who will reinforce the non-diversity of the existing workforce. As the Supreme Court pointed out in 1954, a person’s race may not be legally relevant, but diversity in society is. The reality is that for generations old white guys have hired young white guys when other qualified applicants were available.

  7. Friends, go to your nearest University and take a stroll through the Science/Engineering Buildings on campus. Take a good look around at the students and faculty- it is a sausage fest. A diverse sausage fest full of Asians of every stripe and lots of European flavors but not many African-Americans and not many women.

    Next go to a local High School and check who is taking Physics and Calculus versus those taking Earth Science and Algebra II (or less). If you don’t get the Math and Science in HS you are not very likely to be admitted to any kind of engineering program- at least not at any good school.

    The material is available at good schools and mediocre schools, yet the bulk women and African-American students sort themselves out of the prep track for the college majors that prepare students to work at Silicon Valley firms.

    I have no doubt that there are large numbers of underrepresented groups capable of doing the work- they just are not doing the work. Silicon Valley is one of the last places where what you can DO is more important than the diploma on your wall.

    I am all for diversity and equality- but I am not in favor of quotas forcing unqualified and inexperienced people in positions they are ill equipped to perform or are not ready for just because of their gender, race, ethnicity or sexual preference.

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