SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — At its Diversity Forward event today, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group announced the first 20 businesses and organizations to commit to the 25×25 pledge. The ambitious diversity initiative challenges companies to increase representation in business leadership by setting a goal of filling 25% of executive positions with hires from underrepresented groups by 2025. Or companies can pledge that the number of underrepresented individuals in leadership roles will increase by at least 25% by 2025.
«These 20 companies have joined the 25×25 movement, because they know diversity and inclusion are at the core of business competitiveness, innovation and a stronger social fabric,» said Thomas. «This is about companies meeting – and leading the – the moment we’re in.»
The inaugural class of 25×25 members includes some of the biggest names including a dozen Silicon Valley tech leaders, multiple airlines, banks and a top pro sports franchise. In a twist that was revealed live, Bay Area Council President Jim Wunderman appeared at the 25×25 announcement with SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas. Together Wunderman and Thomas promised the influential Bay Area business groups would work closely together on the leadership diversity initiative.
- Alaska Airlines
- Bay Area Council
- Foothill De Anza College
- NAACP (California & Hawaii)
- Santa Clara University
- San Francisco 49ers
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Silicon Valley Bank
- Silicon Valley Leadership Group
- Stanford Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital
- United Airlines
- Western Digital
«We’re proud to join the 25×25 pledge, which expands on our bold vision for workforce representation and commitment to inclusion and diversity programs to accelerate progress,» said Dalana Brand, VP of People Experience and Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Twitter.
«Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation and we’re committed to making sure our company reflects the diversity of people who use the service.»
Senator Alex Padilla, in his first talk with Silicon Valley since being appointed to Congress, talked to Ahmad Thomas about his own personal backstory seen through the prism of being the first person of color in «the room where it happens» for so much of his career. He also pointed to more openness in general on and to the area of corporate diversity.
«Just embracing the dialogue in this and agreeing that it is important to diversify your individual companies and organizations at all levels,» said Padilla. «If you have something to brag about in terms of diversity, you know, why wait for it to be a mandated requirement for you to report it? Show us where you are and show us the progress that you’re making.»
The Diversity Forward Conference also featured John Hope Bryant, entrepreneur and CEO of nonprofit Operation HOPE who said that moment was not about «morals or money, it’s morals and money» and pointed to the business case for diversity. «Economics prove out,» said Bryant. «I love math because it does not have an opinion. That diversity is not only just the right thing to do and inclusion, it is also just smart business sense and economics.»
Other programming included a panel with Chief Diversity Officers of leading Silicon Valley companies as well as a panel on boardroom diversity featuring California Treasurer Fiona Ma. Silicon Valley Leadership Group chair Jed York talked about the importance of the summit as well as signing the pledge in his role as CEO of the San Francisco 49ers.
«It takes issues of universal importance to bring together such a wide spectrum of industries and 25×25 speaks to some of the most important issues of the day: representation and business competitiveness,» said Jed York. «Everyone knows we need to make positive changes, and 25×25 empowers us to work with each other to make sustainable progress.»
For clips of today’s event go HERE
To learn more about 25×25, please visit Pledge25x25.org
About Silicon Valley Leadership Group
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is a business organization that works with more than 350 of the most dynamic companies in the area. Founded in 1978 by David Packard, of Hewlett-Packard, SVLG is focused on regional economic competitiveness with an emphasis on infrastructure, diversity and inclusion, tax and regulatory policies, and climate change. Collectively, the SVLG members provide nearly one of every three jobs in the private sector in Silicon Valley and contribute to the worldwide economy with more than $3 trillion every year. For more information, visit svlg.com
Kyle McGuire, AMF Media Group
SOURCE Silicon Valley Leadership Group