Silicon Valley is the nation's hub for technology advancement, innovation, dynamic thinking and progressive politics. But when it comes to America's leading technology companies in Northern California, the composition of their board of directors is anything but diverse.
The issue of lack of women in corporate boardrooms gained some traction this year after Twitter received some flak for not appointing a woman to its board before the company's IPO. Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg also raised this gender issue in her popular book, "Lean In."
Now, two outspoken corporate governance experts are expanding their discussion beyond women. They argue Silicon Valley's tech companies need to add more African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities to Silicon Valley's tech boards.
"It's a boy's club," said Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University's Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance.
Silicon Valley's top CEOs "surround themselves with friends and allies who will go along with whatever they want," Wadhwa said.
Change ultimately will have to come from shareholders, and he questions whether stock owners care enough about the issue to agitate and challenge the status quo.
It was Wadhwa who set off a maelstrom, after he openly criticized Twitter's CEO Dick Costolo for not appointing any women on the Twitter board ahead of the company's much-publicized IPO in November. Ultimately, Costolo and the Twitter board bent to pressure and added ex-CEO of Pearson Marjorie Scardino to its board.
Another vocal advocate of board diversity has been Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for executive programs at Yale University's School of Management. Unless public and private pressure for diversity increases, there will be no impetus for the boards of technology companies to represent their diversity of employees and customers, Sonnenfeld said.
"There's a premium on youth, white male and it's sort of a throwback to an era we should be long past, which is the macho world of the giggling boys, with the hackers sensibility that somehow we are living in a pure meritocratic world," Sonnenfeld said. "There's a lot of mythology about the meritocracy that prevails in Silicon Valley as if every other industry is filled with politics and they're the only ones that filled with careers driven through competence and merit," Sonnenfeld said.
(Read more: Twitter growth may mean being more like Facebook)