Groups Accuse Silicon Valley of Discriminatory Hiring

February 11, 2011  |  

(San Jose Mercury News) — Saying the Silicon Valley tech industry needs to do a better job of hiring native-born blacks, Latinos and some other minority groups, minority leaders picketed Google’s Mountain View headquarters Thursday, asking the Internet giant and other large valley companies to disclose their workplace diversity data.  The protest, organized by the Black Economic Council, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles and the National Asian American Coalition, was sparked by a series of reports in the Mercury News last year. The protest drew about two dozen people to the Googleplex; minority leaders criticized Google, Apple and 20 other Silicon Valley tech companies that refused to share their work force diversity data with them. The leaders called on the federal government to review the H-1B work visa program that technology companies use to hire engineers from abroad unless the companies comply.  The groups are filing a complaint with the federal government, saying that of 34 Silicon Valley tech companies from which they requested work force data, only 12 agreed to share it. The groups are asking the government to force the companies to disclose their data. They said they singled out Google for Thursday’s protest because of its growth and visibility.  “Google can google anything, but if you google Google, you can’t get anything,” said Faith Bautista, of the Asian coalition.  A report in the Mercury News last year, based on work force data  that Silicon Valley’s largest companies had filed with the federal government, found that the Bay Area’s unique diversity is not reflected in the region’s tech workplaces.

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