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TWITTER APPOINTS DEBRA LEE

You’ve seen her on every BET Awards show you’ve watched and live-tweeted about with your friends. If you don’t know her name- you certainly know her face (although you should know both). Debra Lee has served as the chairman and…

You’ve seen her on every BET Awards show you’ve watched and live-tweeted about with your friends. If you don’t know her name- you certainly know her face (although you should know both). Debra Lee has served as the chairman and chief executive of BET Networks since 2005 (Techcrunch). Lee has been a Twitter user since 2012, and surely live-tweeted along with BET viewers during those memorable performances as well.

Now, she enjoys a more prominent role in the “Twitter world”. In May, the social media company announced that Debra Lee was joining its board. As the NY Times reports, “Twitter has been under pressure to diversify its company and board. Until 2013, the San Francisco company’s board was all-male. It was all Caucasian until last year. That has attracted criticism for a lack of representation of the diverse ethnic groups that use Twitter. Ms. Lee is the first African-American, and the third woman, to serve on the company’s board”.

Jack Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder who returned to his roles as the chief executive in 2015, has pledged to continue the appointments of ethnically diverse candidates in prominent positions. In December, the company named Jeffrey Siminoff, previously head of diversity at Apple, as the company’s vice president for diversity and inclusion (NY Times).

“Ms. Lee’s appointment also breaks with the prevailing representation of Silicon Valley tech companies, which are disproportionately white and male. Facebook, Google and Twitter, among many others, have all come under fire for not doing enough to hire minority employees into engineering and technical positions, as well as executive appointments” (NY Times).

According to Techcrunch, Twitter is far from Lee’s only board appointment. She also serves as a director with the Washington Gas Light Company, WGL Holdings, Marriott International, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, BET Holdings, Girls Inc., the Telecommunications Development Fund and the National Cable Television Association. According to a newly issued statement from Twitter, Lee will also chair the company’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. #CONGRATSDEBRALEE !

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