"Yahoo disclosed last week that African Americans made up just 2 percent of its workers, while Hispanics stood at 4 percent,"Cecilia Kang and Todd C. Frankel reported Thursday for the Washington Post. "Those revelations came days after Facebook reported that in 2014 it had employed just 81 blacks among its 5,500 U.S. workers.
"Silicon Valley has a diversity problem, a contentious issue that has come into sharper focus in recent months as tech firms have sheepishly released updates on their hiring of minorities. The companies have pledged to do better. Many point to the talent pipeline as one of the main culprits. They'd hire if they could, but not enough black and Hispanic students are pursuing computer science degrees, they say.
"But fresh data show that top schools are turning out black and Hispanic graduates with tech degrees at rates significantly higher than they are being hired by leading tech firms.
"Last year, black students took home 4.1 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in computer science, information technology and computer engineering, according to an annual survey by the Computing Research Association of 121 top U.S. and Canadian colleges. That’s double the average of blacks hired at the biggest tech firms. Hispanics accounted for 7.7 percent of the degrees. . . ."
Glennwood Branche, who recently retired as vice president of operations at the ABC News bureau in Washington, his hometown, died Wednesday of leukemia. He was 62, was one of the first black journalists in television management and was known as a mentor.
ABC News President James Goldston said in a statement on Thursday, "For nearly 40 years, Glennwood dedicated himself to ABC News and was a cherished and beloved leader for generations of our journalists.
"In 1995, Glennwood began serving as Vice President of Operations at our D.C. bureau. For 20 years, up until his retirement just a few months ago, he was involved in each and every story in Washington, always the first to arrive in times of crisis and breaking news.
"Glennwood started his career at the assignment desks at WJLA-TV and the D.C. bureau, refining his skills and talent for news before moving on to producer roles. Later, he became Bureau Chief in St. Louis and Philadelphia, as well as Senior Producer for World News Tonight. He won an Emmy Award and two Peabody Awards for our Millennium Special and September 11th coverage.
"After such an incredible career, he was looking forward to a wonderful retirement with his wife Yolanda and his two daughters, Erin and Natalie. It was sadly not to be, but those who spoke with him in recent days say he was remarkably at peace and prepared, his faith unbelievably strong.
"Glennwood truly helped to build ABC News, and just as importantly, he did so much to build and support the people of ABC News. . . ."
Friends and colleagues also praised Branche. "As we both rose up through the ranks, he ALWAYS HAD MY BACK. ALWAYS,"Lynne Adrine, who worked with Branche at ABC News, wrote on social media. She is director, D.C. Graduate Program, Broadcast and Digital Journalism, at Syracuse University.
Jeff Ballou, news editor at Al Jazeera English, The Americas, knew Branche as a friend, fellow parishioner and fraternity brother. He messaged friends, "To say he was a great guy with solid character, sharp judgment and a wonderful sense of humor only scratches the surface. There's an old saying that one should live respected and died regretted. That was Glennwood."
Jason Miccolo Johnson, a photographer who worked as a vacation-relief desk assistant on the ABC assignment desk in 1981, told Journal-isms by email, "Those were tough times at ABC News for African Americans in the early 80s, and Glennwood helped me to keep my sanity."
Peggy Lewis, director of media studies at Trinity Washington University, messaged, "He was so helpful to young aspiring Black journalists! He was a pioneer in network television management. . . . he helped so many in this business."