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Silicon Valley Leadership Group Sets Standard with 25×25 Program to Catalyze Business Competitiveness Through Diversity

The Valley’s Leading Business Organization Challenges Major Industries to Commit to Actionable Changes on Executive Representation

San Jose, CA, January 11, 2021: In line with its mission to promote innovation and business competitiveness, Silicon Valley Leadership Group today announced the launch of its 25×25 diversity initiative. 25×25 challenges member companies to increase management diversity by setting a goal of filling 25 percent of executive positions with hires from underrepresented groups by 2025. The initiative will be formally unveiled at the Leadership Group’s Diversity Summit on February 19th.

“Silicon Valley is synonymous with innovation that catalyzes here and grows forward exponentially. 25×25 applies our Silicon Valley dynamic to driving diversity among companies as a way to build greater business competitiveness at this important moment,” said Ahmad Thomas, CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “Extensive studies have found that diverse leadership teams create tangible dividends in innovation, market share, and revenue. Our 25×25 program is a commitment to the long-term prosperity of our industries by identifying and placing the best talent from underrepresented groups into executive roles.”

The 25×25 initiative will be formally unveiled at the Leadership Group’s Diversity Summit on February 19th.

  • Participating companies pledge at least 25 percent of their leadership will be comprised of individuals from underrepresented groups (persons of color/women) by 2025, or that by 2025 they will see an increase of at least 25 percent in underrepresented executives in leadership roles. 25×25 companies will keep the pledge by making diversity data and annual progress towards meeting committed metrics public.
  • 25×25 companies commit to employee training that fosters inclusion and reduces unconscious bias.
  • 25×25 companies commit to increase resources by 25 percent by 2025 for funding and/or community engagement in support of underrepresented groups and expansion of minority talent pipelines.
  • The dialogue for 25×25 has been led by several top companies and leading Silicon Valley executives. The Leadership Group will unveil and recognize its inaugural 25×25 participating member companies at its upcoming Diversity Summit.

“The Leadership Group was the only prominent business organization to back legislation requiring public companies with executive offices in California to appoint board members from underrepresented communities,” said Jed York, Chair of the Leadership Group’s Board of Directors and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers. “25×25 builds on the momentum of our policy advocacy with an opportunity for our members to take bold and meaningful action on diversity.”

Along with its pillars of education, housing, transportation and climate, the Leadership Group sees racial justice as a major issue, critical to the future success of the Silicon Valley community.

“Our members understand the importance of maintaining a competitive edge, and that’s what 25×25 brings to Silicon Valley,” said Eric S. Yuan, Vice Chair of the Leadership Group’s Board of Directors and Founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. “Commitment to this program is planting the flag for progress and innovation that will ensure the Valley remains at the forefront of business.”

The launch of 25×25 comes on the heels of other moves by the Leadership Group in this space. SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas recently named Angelica Cortez as the first Vice President of Racial Justice & Equity for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

“We are in a moment of moral reckoning, but the window of opportunity is closing. 25×25 is a chance to act now to create lasting change that reaches every part of our industries by starting at the top,” said Cortez.

As part of the initiative rollout, The Leadership Group is embarking on a tour of local stakeholders. Starting with the Bay Area Council, with future meetings planned with the NAACP and other community and social justice groups. The goals are to listen and brainstorm actionable solutions on increasing diversity at corporate executive levels.

“This is about changing the face of leadership in Silicon Valley,” said SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas. “A change that we believe can reverberate for corporations across the country.”

Business Diversity Facts

  • Companies with ethnically diverse executive teams are 36 percent more likely to achieve above average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. (McKinsey)
  • Executive teams with gender diversity are 25 percent more likely to achieve above average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. (McKinsey)
  • Diverse management teams have 19 percent higher revenues due to innovation, an essential benefit to technology companies. (Boston Consulting Group)

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

The Leadership Group is a business organization of hundreds of Silicon Valley’s most dynamic companies working to shape the innovation economy of California and the nation. Founded by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, for over 40 years the SVLG has worked to address issues that affect the region’s economic health and quality of life. Today the SVLG Is focused on economic competitiveness with a special focus on diversity & inclusion, climate change and infrastructure. SVLG members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy. For more information, visit svlg.org.

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