When Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer discussed corporate diversity during an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, social media blew up with criticism from White people who believed the Black executive was pushing a racist agenda.
We know, however, that a much-needed diversity talk in corporate America will do more good than harm.
The strange reactions to Brewer’s comments led Roland Martin, Host of NewsOne Now, to conduct another installment of “Dear White People,” in which he explained America’s lack of corporate diversity for those who do not understand the facts.
According to Daily Finance, Catalyst.org, and CDC Diversity Inc., diversity amongst Fortune 500 CEOs breaks down to the following numbers:
Fortune 500 CEOs
- 5 African-Americans (1%)
- 23 White Women (23%)
- 9 Hispanics (less than 2%)
Out of the 500 companies that comprise the Fortune 500, 37 CEOs are minorities and 463 are White males.
Martin then addressed the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, saying, “They also can’t find Black people.” According to Apple, Google and Facebook’s diversity numbers equate to:
White 55% Black 7%
White: 61% Black: 2%
White: 57% Black: 2%
“Here’s the problem,” Martin said. “Rosalind Brewer talking about an issue of diversity and Rosalind Brewer says can we please find some diversity and you got all of a sudden, these folks going crazy because they can’t even stomach even a couple of Black folks and Latinos actually getting a job.”
Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Maura Cullen, PhD joined Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss corporate America’s issue with diversifying its workforce.
Brewer is “doing what every good CEO is doing,” which is creating a team that is “reflective of her consumer base,” Cullen said.
Cullen continued, saying many in corporate America believe “White women and men and women of color either slept their way up,” or benefitted from affirmative action.
“The racism happens where we think that we’re not bright enough or we can’t find candidates — that’s where the real racism is,” Cullen said.
Watch Martin, Cullen, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Fortune 500’s lack of diversity in this installment of Dear White People in the video clip above.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.