Silicon Valley behemoths like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are always competing against each other, to attract the right kind of talent. However, these same companies have come together to support a program that seeks to increase the diversity in engineering by attracting more women and people of different ethnicities towards it. Bloomberg Businessweek recently came up with an article describing how these tech are supporting the program named, Building Recruiting and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID).
Hillary Clinton made an announcement about BRAID at the recently concluded Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York. It’s not that diversity became an issue overnight; Silicon Valley has always had a problem with diversity, but it was highlighted when the major tech companies disclosed the numbers showing lack of diversity at their workplace. Only 4% Black or Hispanics and 15% females work in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which is comparable to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s number of 3% and 17%, respectively.
BRAID is the brainchild of computer scientist Maria Klawe, who started it when at a conference for Univeristy Computer Science departments that took place recently; she offered to help the first 10 departments that wanted to raise money for sending their female students to attend a technology conference on diversity.
According to the article, when Klawe returned to her laptop she found e-mails from 11 of the 15 schools who attended the conference and wanted to participate in BRAID. Klawe received approval for funding the program from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the next three days following the conference and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) also agreed to fund the program a few days later.
As of June 30, 2014, Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management owns over 5.8 million shares Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management owns over 18 million shares of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Jeffrey Ubenn’s ValueAct Capital owns over 74 million shares in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).