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Barrack Obama Silicon Valley tech supper with the stars. Where was the diversity?

Last week a post called “Startup America needs to look more like America” by Kalimah Priforce that was reposted on Quora fired up a debate between some noted Silicon Valley venture capitalist and other startups founders. The post led to a follow up post by Kalimah called “MAKING HISTORY | WILL SUPER ANGELS & TECH MAVENS CLOSE THE MINORITY-LED STARTUP GAP?. The debate and conversations were also continued on HackerNews. In other words, it’s a touchy subject.

Yesterday President Barrack Obama held what the various blogs are calling “tech supper with the stars” and the White House released a photo of a big cheers moment at the dinner table as you can see below.


From devicemag here’s the full list of attendees according to the NY Times, LA Times and SF Chronicle:

John Doerr, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Carol Bartz, president and CEO, Yahoo!
John Chambers, CEO and chairman, Cisco Systems
Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO, Oracle
Reed Hastings, CEO, NetFlix
John Hennessy, president, Stanford University
Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO, Apple (seated next to Obama, above)
Art Levinson, chairman and former CEO, Genentech
Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google
Steve Westly, managing partner and founder, Westly Group
Mark Zuckerberg, founder, president and CEO, Facebook (seated next to Obama, above)

Wow, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the dinner. You can’t argue that everyone on the list is deserving and I like the male to female ratio. But there was not one minatory Silicon Valley CEO or founder worthy or available to attend? I know there are debates about why each of the individuals where invited. You can read about that via a Search Engine Land post called “Who Sat Where? Why Was He There?“.

It’s not like there are no black founders, entrepreneurs, and executives in Silicon Valley because there’s a list on Quora here: Who are some notable black founders, entrepreneurs, and executives in Silicon Valley? At least they could have invited @MCHammer. Maybe next time guys!

Just a simple observation and if you attend a lot of technology events, conferences, or meetup the diversity ratio at the dinner table is about accurate how it is outside of the bubble.

Barrack Obama Silicon Valley Tech Supper with the stars

I normally don’t blog about race or the lack there of in the web/tech/startup space but it’s becoming more of a hot topic and a much needed conversation. Plus I’m doing my series and the dinner photo just made me think about it even more. #justsayin

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