Hit him on the hip
Magic Johnson Says He Knows How To Diversify The Tech Industry
One of the most pressing issues facing Silicon Valley is the diversity gap.
Former NBA great turned businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson says he has the solution to the severe shortage of blacks and Hispanics in high-tech: Just give him a call.
As one of the highest-profile business owners in the African-American community, Johnson has worked with many companies on jobs outreach. And now he’s offering to lend Silicon Valley a hand.
“I’ve been doing this for over 35 years,” Johnson told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview. “I’ve done this for other big corporations as well: Best Buy, Aetna, on and on. I know how to do it. They just need to give me a call. If they’re looking for talent, give me a call. If they are looking for companies to partner with, give me a call.”
From Google to Facebook and Intuit to Apple, Silicon Valley companies have released statistics on the racial and gender make-up of their work forces in recent months.
The reports have embarrassed the industry: High-tech is overwhelmingly white, Asian and male.
Missing in the ranks of major technology companies are blacks and Hispanics. At Intuit, African-Americans are 4% of workers, Hispanics are 6%. Just 2% of U.S. workers at Google and Facebook are black. In the U.S. work force, 12% is black and 14% is Hispanic.
Silicon Valley companies have pledged to take steps to make their work forces better reflect the customers they serve. But they say they are hiring all of the qualified blacks and Hispanics they can find.
Johnson says he can get Silicon Valley all the applicants it can hire.
African-Americans and Latinos “want to work for these incredible companies and brands. Who wouldn’t want to work for Apple or Google?” Johnson said. “And it would be better for them as a company as well. That’s what it’s all about.”
Aye, if anyone can do it, it’s Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Cut him that check!
Image via AP