Mitch Albom, CWD contributor talk about Silicon Valley, diversity

Mitch Albom, CWD contributor talk about Silicon Valley, diversity

Jesse Jackson’s on-again, off-again campaign against Silicon Valley for the lack of blacks, Latinos and women in its tech workforce is revving up. This is from a USA Today story this week:

“There’s no talent shortage. There’s an opportunity shortage,” he said, calling Silicon Valley “far worse” than many others such as car makers that have been pressured by unions. He said tech behemoths have largely escaped scrutiny by a public dazzled with their cutting-edge gadgets.

I wrote about Jackson’s campaign for Cal Watchdog in February. My basic point was that he has a history of doing this with big companies, then leaving them alone after he gets paid off in some way. I noted that especially in his current case, he had no evidence of overt bias at all, just a statistical case.

I cited the paucity of black, Latino and women graduates in hard sciences and said a case could be made that this was a societal failing — but not one of Silicon Valley and the information technology industry in general, which is the greatest meritocracy that I have ever seen.

Read one of the peerless Michael Lewis’ lesser-known books for ample evidence of the Darwinian work culture in the IT world. (Or just read it because it is another example of Lewis’ brilliance.)

He shows over and over again how talent and results are what is rewarded, not Ivy League pedigrees and/or family connections. Some of the biggest companies in the world were started by college dropouts — Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and many more — and many of the biggest programming stars have far from elite educations.

RADIO Mitch 13On Wednesday, I was guest on Mitch Albom’s Detroit radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR. Yes, the guy of “Tuesdays with Morrie” fame. He wanted to talk about the issues Jackson raised.

It you want to listen to the lively 10-minute conversation, here’s the link. Scroll down and look for the third segment on the July 30 show.

Don’t miss the end, in which I cite a Larry Summers theory about math and gender after first being careful to make clear it’s his theory. It got him fired as president of Harvard.

Profile in courage!

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