On the morning of the annual holiday that marks the end of slavery in the U.S., Tesla informed workers they could take the day off, unpaid. CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Friday afternoon that the day would “henceforth” be considered a holiday at his companies, quashing plans for protests from workers concerned about his “deafening” silence. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told Fortune his company is tackling issues of diversity with the same vigour applied to the challenges posed by the coronavirus. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg promised to increase the number of Black people in leadership positions by 30 per cent over the next five years. Snapchat apologized for and removed a filter that saw chains appear and break when a user smiled. (The Logic)
Talking point: The holiday has gained more attention following global protests sparked by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks. Due to the efforts of HellaCreative, a group of mostly Black Bay Area tech creatives who launched HellaJuneteenth to push for the day to be a national holiday, several tech companies have committed resources to honouring the date. It remains to be seen how sustained these efforts will be: according to a new survey from Hired, Black and Hispanic tech workers are paid less than their white and Asian peers. On average, just 2.7 per cent of executives in senior roles at 10 major tech companies are Black. Ulili Onovakpuri, a partner at Kapor Capital and one of the few Black women partners in the venture capital industry, told The Information that these commitments are baseless without benchmarks. “That’s how you signal externally that you’re committed to this,” she said.