Digital diversity – High-tech firms recruiting minorities

America’s high-tech corporations have pledged $250 million over the next 10 years to draw more minorities, women and disabled workers into tech-related jobs, The San Jose Mercury News reports.

Adobe, Intel and Sun Microsystems are among those that will spend at least $1 million a year for the next decade as part of President Clinton’s “One America” initiative.

The funds will support scholarships, job training and internships for groups that are underrepresented in the high-tech workplace.

Diversity in the information workplace became a major issue last year after the Rev. Jesse Jackson said high-tech corporations lack minorities and women in offices and boardrooms, the Mercury News says. 

A survey of Silicon Valley’s top 150 publicly traded companies found 89 percent of chairmen and chief executive officers were white.

Ten percent were Asian and less than 1 percent was black. 

As these corporations draw more employees from abroad, Clinton said the long-term solution lies in forgotten pockets of employees in the U.S. 

Duane Ackerman, president of Bellsouth Corp. and an organizer of the corporate diversity commitment, said the effort goes beyond pure business interests.

“Consumers judge a corporation not only by its bottom line, but also the content of its character,” he said. 


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