As I’ve mentioned before, one of my top reads every morning is the Fortune CEO Daily, and what a great way to start today as it revealed that Progressive Insurance CEO Tricia Griffith is this year’s Businessperson of the Year. Read her story here which highlights her career and accomplishments including that she is “a CEO who started as an entry-level employee at the company she now leads, and one of just 24 female Fortune 500 chief executives.” Alan Murray also highlights that “there are four women among this year’s top ten performers—and six among the top twenty. That’s pretty good considering there are only 24 female CEOs in the Fortune 500.”
Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and I am proud to say we are supporting Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer as it unveils a new initiative to help Latino pancreatic cancer patients and families. You can find the new Spanish-language platform here which aims to connect the Latino community to resources and information in their language of choice. The platform will focus on providing access to the latest science-driven treatment options for pancreatic cancer. Here is the release in Spanish.
A few months ago, after sharing with Aedhmar Hynes my interest in Artificial Intelligence, she recommended that I read “Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future” by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe. If you are interested in technology and diversity, it is a must read. Yes, I say diversity because to my surprise one of the principles is ‘diversity over ability’ and focuses, as Ito has says, on “…the idea that a diverse team or group of people working on an idea are more likely to be successful than a group of highly able but self-similar people.” Truly a great read, thank you Aedhmar.
Other stories to follow include Microsoft releasing it’s new diversity numbers and its approach – this story includes great data on how it compares to other tech companies, “Diversity and the Pipeline Problem,” “Diversity on stark display as House’s incoming freshmen gather in Washington,” “Diversity Is The Key to Startup Success – What Can Early-stage Founders Do About It?,” “Four Companies That Are Getting Diversity & Inclusion Right – And How They’re Doing It,” “Latino voter participation more than doubles 2014 levels,” and “More Latinos own businesses but can’t get capital to grow, report says.”
ICYMI tonight are the Latin Grammys, read more on what to expect.
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We are less than a week away from the midterm elections and I hope the turnout reflects the energy I have seen online. Having said that, watch this interview with Chiqui Cartagena, on how both parties and many candidates do not understand Latino voters. Or this from NPR about how candidates like Beto O’Rourke, who is running for the Senate in Texas, need to mobilize Latino voters to win. There is also this from Meet The Press in which Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez says, “you don’t win in #Texas unless you’re talking to brown and black voters.”
I like to keep an informal inventory of who is advertising on Univision while I watch its programming. For example, this week during the 10 pm telenovela, I was surprised to see mostly negative ads against the Democrats, note I live in Miami. In other words – there were was only one ad for a Democratic candidate. It will be interesting to see if any party or candidate understands the opportunities, and challenges, of engaging with this important segment which is very diverse. Another important story to follow next week will be voter suppression efforts which predominantly impact racial minorities, here is a good Washington Post piece on this specific issue. I’m proud to say that I’ve already voted – it was easy and seamless.
Last week NBC canceled Megyn Kelly Today because of Kelly’s comments regarding “blackface,” so here is this from Nicholas Pearce, another recommended read, titled “Megyn Kelly’s ‘blackface’ comment shows workplace diversity isn’t enough.”
Here are additional stories that I am following this week including this from Forbes titled “Seven Ways To Close The Diversity And Inclusion Gap That Are Easier Than You Think,” “How To Improve Gender Diversity In Entertainment Through Social Networking,” “Making progress on tech’s diversity problem: A female founder’s take on the current situation” and “Intel Hits an Internal Goal for Workforce Diversity.” Bernard Coleman III wrote this on four diversity and inclusion disruptors in the workplace (one of my favorite topics) and here is this from CFO Magazine titled “The Economic Case for Diversity.”
I want to end this post with this video shared by a friend, Jeff Weintraub, “in memory of the victims and in honor of the wounded of Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh PA.”
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As I opened my email this morning one of my daily reads had this lead, “LeanIn.org and McKinsey have released the latest installment of their Women in the Workplace survey, and it does not make for pleasant reading.” Not the best way to start the morning but a good reality check. “Now in its fourth year, the survey shows ‘almost no progress’ in improving the representation of women in corporate America.” Read more in today’s Fortune CEO Daily plus you can find the survey here. On that topic, here is a recommended read for the week: “Women Managers Have Little Margin for Error.”
Last week I had an interesting conversation regarding corporate diversity and the person I was speaking with focused on the importance of leading from the top. In other words, if companies are serious about diversity, that needs to start at the corporate board level. I completely agree, which is why reading about “diversity fatigue” at the board level is disappointing – especially if you look at the numbers. Yes as the Race Ahead newsletter mentions, there has been some progress – 16% increase in 10 years but that’s not enough.
I’ve written before about corporate board diversity and the work of organizations including the Latino Corporate Directors Association, Women Corporate Directors and the Executive Leadership Council. This year California became the first state to require women on boards and there is an initiative called 2020 Women on Boards working to increase the percentage of women on corporate boards to 20%. In recent weeks we have seen business leaders like Jessica Rodriguez and Cindy Kent named to the corporate boards of Burlington Stores, Inc. and Best Buy respectively. I know that because of their contributions they will demonstrate, once again, the value of diversity. I hope shareholders and stakeholders continue to keep companies accountable and that this “fatigue” is temporary – as there is still significant work to be done. Here is a link to the PWC report which has other interesting findings.
Here are some other recent stories and opinion pieces: “Local VCs Launch Initiative to Make Chicago’s Tech Community More Diverse,“ “CAA Launches ‘The Hubb’ Summit to Promote Diversity in the Music Industry,” “Sears catalog helped African Americans subvert Jim Crow,” and “Inside Facebook’s Stormy Debate Over ‘Political Diversity’.” Also, Sallie Krawcheck’s piece “Everything you think you know about promoting diversity is wrong. Here’s how to do it” has some valid and important points. Note I still think there is value in ERGs or Affinity Groups.
To end on a more positive note, ICMYI “Shonda Rhimes: ‘I Am The Highest-Paid Showrunner in Television,’” to which I say, bravo!
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Can technology, including AI/machine learning, help address workforce diversity issues? Companies like SheWorks!, tEQuitable, Atipica, Textio and Pluto are just some of the startups trying to do this, but they have deliberately made this part of their mission. There are also companies like LinkedIn which announced this week it is using AI to recruit more diverse candidates. However, when leveraging technology, some companies may not realize that they may face bias issues they had not predicted, as we saw this week with Amazon. The recruitment engine the company used showed bias against women. More than 50% of HR managers in the U.S. said “artificial intelligence, or AI, would be a regular part of their work within the next five years, according to a 2017 survey by talent software firm CareerBuilder,” so this is something to continue to monitor. Ultimately I think what this also shows is that you need diversity on the management and development side to create viable solutions.
Google and Facebook announced that they are funding a machine learning course in Africa. This is just one example of how companies are trying to address these challenges but there is a lot of work to be done as diversity in tech continues to be a significant issue.
It was great to see that CES listened to the concerns last year on the lack of diversity as Lisa Su, chief executive of AMD and Ginni Rometti, IBM’s CEO, were named as keynote speakers. Also, read this from Black Enterprise titled “Black and Brown Tech Innovators and Enthusiasts Gather for Bigger, Better Techconnext conference.”
In other news, CNBC wrote about how Latino owned small businesses are “turbocharging growth,” I love this from the New York Times done to celebrate the International Day of the Girl and called #ThisIs18 and the Google Doodle honors Roberto Clemente
Finally, ICYMI here is one of my favorite ads this year, from JetBlue, celebrating Puerto Rico.
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One year after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, here is this from the Takeaway titled “After The Storm: Stories of Puerto Rican Resilience” and CBS aired this special titled “Puerto Rico: The exodus after Hurricane Maria.” Want to help? Support PRxPR.
As many of you may know, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated between September 15 and October 15 each year. Watch this to learn more about how this month-long celebration started. Thank you Elaine Coronado for sharing. Here is more info on the celebration. There are numerous events and celebrations and many companies take the opportunity to host internal and/or external events, it is also a good time to spotlight the many contributions of Hispanics to the U.S. This from CNBC talks about the impact of Latino small businesses in the economy and watch Sol Trujillo talk about how Latinos are impacting the economy. Here is this from Carlos Lozada from 2013 on who is Latino (or today Latinx) that also speaks to the history of the term Hispanic.
Some of the items I’m following this week: Fortune released the list of Most Powerful Women, an inspiring list of leaders, you can read more here. Axios had this article about how this Congress, depending on the election results, could be the more diverse in history and more accurately reflect the country. Another week and another article about the importance of diversity in business. Here is this great read titled “Why Confronting Our Unconscious Biases Is Both a Moral and Business Imperative.”
On the arts and entertainment front, the Getty Research Institute is launching an African American Art History initiative and Latinos made the “The Nun” #1 at the box office during its premiere week
ICYMI read this titled “Marc Pritchard shares personal journey around bias and labels.”
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This week’s blog post has a strong focus on women as you can see from the headline. I did not realize that until I was close to finalizing it. So this morning one of the first tweets I saw, fortunately, was Arlan Hamilton on the cover of FastCompany. Here is the story here. This photo Arlan shared was not quite my reaction but close to it. Read here on why Stephanie Mehta selected Arlan. Listen to her interview with Tanzina Vega on The Takeaway. I recommend you follow Arlan to see how, via Backstage Capital, she is disrupting the VC industry.
Then later today I read this by Elizabeth Gore in Inc. She is absolutely right. I am grateful that I get to work with entrepreneurs and disruptors like Genius Plaza founder Ana Roca Castro and SheWorks! founder Silvina Moschini and other entrepreneurs who are making an impact and are a part of the #NewMajority.
Other interesting reads this week include “Dell, other tech giants team up to improve diversity in training pipeline,” “Beauty Is More Diverse Than Ever. But Is It Diverse Enough?,” “Fifty years of economic history proves that inclusive workplaces make us all richer,” “Female Role Models Empower Young Girls to Pursue STEM Careers in Latest Ad Council Campaign,” and this “Few minorities, only 45 Latinos, in U.S. House’s top staff jobs, report says.” Here is this report from Nielsen titled “From Consumers to Creators: The Digital Lives of Black Consumers.”
I also recommend reading this from Melinda Gates on closing the gender tech gap and listen to Carla Harris’ podcast with Freada Kapor Klein on the “Leaky Tech Pipeline.”
ICYMI this is from the New York Times titled “As TV Seeks Diverse Writing Ranks, Rising Demand Meets Short Supply.”
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I can’t believe it’s already September! I love this time of the year for many reasons, including the US Open in New York. This year diversity is well represented both on the courts and on the creative front. Chase and Nike launched inspiring Serena Williams ads and American Express is running its ad with Lin Manuel Miranda. If you are not a fan, there are some great storylines this year. There is of course Serena. You also have two players from Japan making history Kei Nishikori on the men’s side and Naomi Osaka on the women’s side. And Nike posted this in response to the French Open’s decision regarding Serena’s catsuit.
This week Nike has captured most of the headlines with its decision to have Colin Kaepernick as the face of its current campaign. There has been extensive coverage and analysis on this decision – just do a quick Google search. If you haven’t seen the ad that will run during the NFL season opener, the US Open and other sporting events, you should. Here’s a link. I agree with Patrick Rishe – for Nike “the reward will exceed risk because it knows its demo.”
Other news I am following includes that the term “Latinx” has been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I’ve written about the debate on using this term before. Adrienne Trimble took the helm at the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Nielsen released a report stating that Hispanic consumers over-index on cause-related purchases. Backstage Capital announced it is launching “an accelerator in four cities to promote underrepresented founders.” I am voting for Miami as the fourth city. WarnerMedia unveiled its diversity policy – congratulations to the team leading this effort! Also here is this good read from The Wharton School titled “Why Diversity Is About Much More Than Numbers.”
ICYMI watch Sylvia Acevedo’s interview on CBS This Morning. Proud to say I’ve known her for years, she’s inspiring!
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