Photo credit: Kathleen Warren
With the tech industry continuing to catch flack for its lack of women and people of color in leadership positions, Lyft is making a move in the right direction with the recent appointment of Valerie Jarrett to its Board of Directors.
As the former Senior Advisor to President Obama and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for Obama’s entire term, Jarrett has worked on a range of issues that include economic growth and the empowerment of working families. Prior to her position in the White House, Jarrett worked as the Commission of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago and Chair of the Chicago Transit board, helping her to develop years of experience with tacking the problems of urban transportation.
"Valerie is one of our country’s foremost leaders and a distinguished public servant, and a natural fit for our board," Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green said in a press release. “She will be a great partner for Lyft as we continue working alongside public transit agencies to provide upward mobility through transportation, reduce congestion, and ultimately reshape our cities."
Jarrett’s appointment comes as Lyft continues to grow amid its biggest competitor, Uber’s, struggle in the public eye. So far, the car service company has completed more rides this year than in all of 2016, and according to CNN the company has raised an additional $600 million in funding this year alone.
Jarrett, who is just the second woman to be added to Lyft’s board, joins a growing list of other Black women who are making moves in Silicon Valley including marketing executive Bozoma Saint John at Uber, Women’s March organizer Janaye Ingram at Airbnb, and Linda Johnson Rice at Tesla.
"I am a frequent Lyft passenger and have been inspired by the strong community John and Logan have created that is dedicated to enlightened corporate values,” Jarrett said in a press release. "We share a belief that reliable, affordable transportation positively impacts social mobility, and improves the quality of life in densely populated communities. I am thrilled to join the ride."
In addition to being a part of Lyft’s board, Jarrett also sits on the board of Ariel Investments and is an advisor to The Obama Foundation.