Harry, Meghan, bias & us: Silicon Valley CEO blows the whistle


A Silicon Valley-based Indian-American tech entrepreneur has urged all CEOs worldwide to push the British royal family to commit to ending racial inequity, the call coming against the backdrop of the interview by the royal couple of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, to Oprah Winfrey on CBS.

Madhukar Govindaraju, founder and CEO of Numly, a Silicon Valley company that offers AI-enabled peer coaching programs for diversity, equity, and inclusion for corporations, was moved by the interview, like millions of people across the world, in which Meghan hinted at racism in the corridors of British royalty.

“Today Numly is calling all CEOs to join together to initiate a worldwide conversation on racism and gender bias directed towards people of color,” Govindaraju said in a press statement.

This conversation is very critical as the world reflects on this topic with pain and seeing bias being actively silenced across the world, in families ranging from the British royal family to all families worldwide. Bias or Inequity in any form has a far-reaching impact on the mental well-being of our work force. As CEOs we need to step up and act ‘now’ to effect positive change.”

indica News asked Govindaraju why he took the step.

A couple of quick points,” he said. “I grew up with my grandfather who talked to me about the racial bias during the British rule in India and how people of influence like him were silenced to act differently, especially when it came to education policies and investments in building teacher education institutions in India.

The interview this past week just hit my nerve when we heard that the Queen informed her grandson that she could not do anything about providing security to the unborn child. It does not feel right in any way,” Govindaraju said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a work-from-home and remote work future, he pointed out.

Bias or inequity in any form at home, within our families, now has a far-reaching impact on the mental well-being of our work force. This is an important matter with many families being stressed as a result of working from home,” Govindaraju said.

So, if the Queen of England can finally admit and talk about this, it raises the awareness to the highest levels and as a society, we can work towards lasting solutions,” Govindaraju said.

I still hear about increasing stress amongst working mothers as a result of gender bias

in the workplace. This is no longer an issue we can ignore, as CEOs,” he underlined.

With this call to action, we hope to push the Queen of England to step up, own up and commit to making a lasting and positive change to ending racial and gender bias around the world, “ he said.

CEOs need to jointly work towards helping the British royal family to get there. Hope we can bring a broader awareness here and ignite a broader conversation with all the CEOs on this topic.”

He that when the pandemic broke out, his company joined a growing coalition of more than 2,000 CEOs, in the CEO! Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion and committed fully to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

A diverse and inclusive workforce not only facilitates a supportive community but also drives innovation and creativity,” Govindaraju said.

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