Posted on February 22, 2021

Facebook, Twitter, United Airlines and Other Large Companies Pledge to Boost Numbers of Diverse Leaders

Levi Sumagaysay, Market Watch, February 19, 2021

Some of the nation’s biggest and most well-known companies, institutions and organizations have signed onto a Silicon Valley-born initiative to boost diversity in their leadership to 25% by the year 2025.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which unveiled the 25×25 initiative last month, announced the list of 20 companies, institutions and organizations Friday at its Diversity Forward Summit. The list includes social media giants Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., plus United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers

Companies that take the pledge commit that at least 25% of their leadership will be individuals from underrepresented groups (people of color and women) by 2025, or that by 2025 they will see at least a 25% boost in underrepresented executives in leadership roles. The companies are expected to publicize their diversity data and annual progress toward the goal, although those goals will look different depending on the levels of leadership companies decide will be covered by the initiative.

“Nowhere in corporate America have I seen these metrics or an initiative with these types of metrics,” said SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas in an interview with MarketWatch before the announcement of the initiative. “{snip} It’s not a feel-good letter that everyone can sign onto, then go back out on the golf course. There’s a reason why we haven’t seen anything like this: It’s a feat.”


{snip} With some prodding over the past several years, the tech industry has largely made its workplace demographics public, and other companies have followed. Thomas said he hopes that on this initiative, too, “as Silicon Valley goes, so goes the nation.”


As part of the initiative, companies that take the pledge also commit to boost resources by 25% by 2025 for funding and/or community engagement for underrepresented groups and toward expanding pipelines for minority talent. They also commit to educating their workforces about inclusion and unconscious bias.