Welcome back to Human Capital, where we unpack the latest information on diversity, equity and inclusion, and labor issues in the tech industry.
In this week's edition, we take a look at the latest information in Uber and Lyfts Legal battle over the classification of their drivers as independent contractors, the timely announcement of a black board member by Pinterest, the general technical diversity of the board and the Kapor Center for Social Impact's campaign to promote racial justice.
The appellate judge grants Uber and Lyft temporary residence
The Uber-Lyft saga against people in California continued this week. The latest is that Uber and Lyft are not going to shut down their respective hail services today. That decision came after a judge on the appeals court decided to grant them a temporary stay on the restraining order in order to force them to immediately classify their drivers as employees.
There's no telling when this will all be resolved, but here's what will happen next:
8/25: Uber and Lyft must submit written statements by 5:00 p.m. PT agrees to expedited appeal procedures. If they agree, the stay will remain in place until the complaint has been resolved.
9/4: Both Uber and Lyft must file affidavits with implementation plans for compliance with the law within 30 days if the court upholds the court's injunction and if their California election is aimed at making the drivers independent, Prop 22 does not pass.
13.10 .: Oral disputes in the appeal process begin.
While Uber and Lyft threatened to shut down and await a judge's decision, ridesharing held an action outside Uber's headquarters in San Francisco. At the rally, San Francisco supervisor Matt Haney showed his support for the drivers.
100 days campaign for racial justice
The people at the Kapor Center for Social Impact are calling on people to take action for racial justice.
"The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, the latest in a long history of police brutality against black men and women, sparked protests and riots in support of the Black Lives Matter movement," they write. "In doing so, it challenged America to face the systemic racism that was anchored in every institution from the beginning, from education to the police to the economy."
As part of the Organization for Racial Justice's 100-day campaign, they call on people to participate in three areas: educational justice, civic engagement, and economic justice. This last area, economic justice, is particularly focused on the tech industry. The campaign calls on technology leaders to deploy capital for black and indigenous people of color, renegotiate the terms of their employee resource groups, support pathways into technical professions, and much more.
As Kapor Capital partner Brian Dixon pointed out in June, VC organizations can take three steps immediately to make progress::
- Hire black investors
- Fund Black founder
- Hold your company accountable
Pinterest appoints first black board member
Andrea Wishom became the first Black Board member on Pinterest earlier this week. The announcement came a few days after Pinterest employees staged a virtual strike to call for systemic changes in relation to gender and racial discrimination. The strike was a direct response to former Pinterest employees who spoke out against discrimination based on gender and race. Last week, former Pinterest COO Françoise Brougher sued the company for gender discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. Aerica Shimizu Banks and Ifeoma Ozoma Pinterest previously also accused Pinterest of discrimination.
In recent years, tech companies have done a better job than usual when it comes to board-level diversity. After Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian stepped down from his board of directors and asked the company to add a black person to its board, Reddit named Michael Seibel, CEO of Y Combinator. Other companies that have added black board members in the past few years include Facebook, Airbnb, Slack, Twitter, and Apple.
Here is a brief scorecard of racial diversity at large tech companies. Below you can see how these big tech companies all have at least one black board member, but how blacks are still underrepresented on the board of directors.