*The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s mission to get information on the diversity of workplaces associated with social media giants has arrived at Facebook.
According to NBCnews.com, the civil rights icon addressed the lack of minorities and women in Silicon Valley during an appearance at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting in Redwood City, Calif. last week.
“Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remain the order of the day,” said Jackson, who highlighted the void at the executive level while reiterating points he made in letters he sent to Apple, Google, Twitter and Facebook earlier this year.
Jackson’s appearance at the meeting is part of an initiative he and his nonprofit Rainbow PUSH launched in March. This month, former presidential candidate has appeared at various other tech companies’ shareholder meetings.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had nothing but praise for Jackson as she welcomed him to the meeting, calling it “an honor” to have him and his “strong words” present.
Jackson’s views did not goo unnoticed with Sandberg, who discussed at length new programs Facebook has launched in an effort to recruit minorities and woman.
“I absolutely agree” that Facebook’s workforce should be as diverse as the site’s user base,” she told Jackson.
Despite her agreement that more diversity is needed, Sandberg wouldn’t honor Jackson’s request for Facebook to release thier workforce breakdowns publicly. NBC News mentioned that U.S. companies with more than 100 employees are required to send an annual report called the EEO-1 to the government. The information in the report categorizes American workers by race and gender. Companies can opt to publicize the data if they want but they are not compelled to.
“Facebook would like to be on a path” to share workforce data internally with employees, and eventually with the public, Sandberg said.
The effort to gain information about diversity on social media sites has been a less than easy task. Although several tech companies have historically fought journalists and advocacy groups seeking to make their diversity data public, Jackson scored a victory at Google’s shareholder meeting this month, when the company announced in a surprising reversal that it would make its workforce information available starting in June.