HP will have the most diverse tech boards in the US, say activists

Meg WhitmanHPHP CEO Meg Whitman

Hewlett-Packard is preparing to diverge into two companies this November, but it can also claim a new achievement for diversity in the national tech workspace.

HP now has the “most diverse” boards in the US, according to non-profit Rainbow PUSH.

The HP boards, announced earlier this week, will feature a blend of original members and new hires. Four women and two people of colour will be placed on each board, reported Forbes.

Rainbow PUSH is an organisation focused on social change and has been urging technology companies across the country to hire underrepresented minorities.

The non-profit has especially ramped up its efforts in the past year, meeting with tech behemoths across the country, including Apple and Google, to discuss their diversity numbers. A survey conducted by the group last fall found only three Blacks and one Hispanic across the 189 board members from 20 technology companies examined.

There were also “153 men and just 36 women. Eleven (over half) have all-white Boards,” Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is spearheading Rainbow PUSH, said in a press release. He later added, “Certainly there is a long way to go.”

Last March, the non-profit met with HP at its shareholder meeting to talk about its numbers.

“We challenged them — and the tech industry — to confront the virtual exclusion of women and people of colour in the tech industry,” Rev. Jackson said. “HP committed to make demonstrable strides in expanding diversity and inclusion.”

The boards, announced earlier this week, will feature a blend of original members and new hires — four women and two people of colour will be placed on each board, reported Forbes.

At HP Enterprise, Leslie A. Brun from Sarr Group, and Pamela Carter, former president Cummins Distribution, are both people of colour who will be joining. The board has 13 members in total, according to an HP press release. Heading the team will be Pat Russo, who became a part of the HP board in 2011.

HP Inc.’s talent will include Stacy Brown-Philpot, chief operating officer at TaskRabbit, and Stacey Mobley, former senior vice president at DuPont. Twelve people will help oversee HP Inc., which focuses on the printer and PC businesses.

HP CEO Meg Whitman will sit on both boards and serve as chairwoman for HP Inc.

“The post-separation Boards for both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. comprise leaders with some of the most diverse backgrounds and professional experiences I’ve seen in my career,” Whitman said in HP’s press release.

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