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Notes from the President & CEO

From Rooney to Wilson: Impacting Diverse Hiring Practices One Company at a Time

Joseph K. West President & CEO PRESIDENT OBAMA recently hosted the first ever White House Demo Day which focused on the need for greater inclusiveness in the venture capital and tech sectors and which highlighted the administration’s TechHire initiative. A White House press release revealed some startling statistics that these initiatives are designed to address.

  • Just three percent of America’s venture capital-backed startups are led by women.
  • Women makeup only about four percent of U.S.-based venture capital investors.
  • Only around one percent of African-Americans lead venture capital-backed startups.

We are proud to point out that some MCCA Board Member Corporations are playing significant roles in helping to address these problems. The president lauded Xerox and Microsoft for their implementation of versions of the “Rooney Rule” (Xerox named it the “Wilson Rule”) in hiring for senior level positions. Some capital firms with over $100 billion under management, including Intel Capital, among others, made commitments to specific actions designed to advance opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. MCCA is actively working with the ABA Commission on Women on an upcoming Bias Interrupters research project designed to provide tools to eliminate barriers to inclusion in the tech sector and beyond. Two of MCCA’s new board members, Dawn Smith, general counsel of VMware and Suzan Miller, deputy general counsel of Intel, are remarkable leaders and champions of inclusiveness.

They also represent companies that are committed to making a difference in the tech arena. Our goal is to provide opportunities for our members to both contribute and benefit from this long-overdue commitment to inclusiveness in the tech and venture capital sectors. We welcome your input in this process. In addition to this exciting national news, this month’s issue profiles our Diversity Gala award winners. We hope that you find their stories compelling and their ideas inspiring. As Diversity Gala Keynote Speaker Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs of Microsoft Corporation, said, “We need to continue to advance the diversity cause and become as diverse as the nation we serve.”

Joseph K. West
President & CEO

Publications Staff

President & CEO
Joseph K. West

Founder and
Publisher Emeritus

Lloyd M. Johnson Jr.

 

 

Editor-in-Chief
Kimberly A. Howard, CAE

 

Advertising
M.J. Mrvica Associates, Inc.

Design/Art Direction
BonoTom Studio, Inc.

 

MCCA Staff
Shikha Bhatnagar
Mahzarine Chinoy
David Chu
Donna Crook
Charles H. Hollins, Jr.
Behnaz Mistry
Aracely Muñoz Petrich
Andrea Pimm
 

 

Past Notes from the President & CEO RSS Feed

Summary: PRESIDENT OBAMA recently hosted the first ever White House Demo Day which focused on the need for greater inclusiveness in the venture capital and tech sectors and which highlighted the administration’s TechHire initiative. A White House press release revealed some startling statistics that these initiatives are designed to address.

Summary: THE LEGAL PROFESSION is the least diverse of all white collar professions. MCCA’s core mission is to change that. Growing up in the deep South, I attended a segregated school system until junior high school. If you look at that in terms of years, it was not that long ago.

Summary: This month’s cover story is about our LMJ Scholarship recipients. Established in 2004, the LMJ Scholarship program seeks to nurture the academic and professional careers of outstanding law students and advance the diversity pipeline to the legal profession.

Summary: This issue showcases not only an expanded content direction for Diversity & the Bar, but provides insight into the best of the best.

Summary: Is there a more powerful and influential industry on earth than the movie industry? Is there a more powerful and influential position than the presidency of the United States? If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then what should we make of the recent revelation that Sony executives, while preparing to attend a fundraiser for President Obama, regaled each other with racist jokes at the president’s expense?

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