The Oscars, Univision’s new initiative, The Leaky Tech Pipeline, The Future of Hispanics, UNITY shutting down, Rise of the Rest, Selena and more

The Oscars this past Sunday were a celebration of diversity with “The Shape of Water,” one of my favorite films, winning for best picture and best director; Jordan Peele winning for best original screenplay; “Coco” winning for best animated film and best song and “A Fantastic Woman” from Chile winning for best foreign-language film. There were many memorable moments, i.e. Rita Moreno presenting and Guillermo Del Toro winning, but for me personally the three most impactful moments were:

  1. Peele’s win and the reaction to the win, including this
  2. the lack of women standing when Frances McDormand asked all female nominees to stand (as Brian Stelter reminded us, only six of the 33 Oscar winners were women and there is much work to be done, read more here)
  3. seeing Dolores Huerta onstage because of her civil rights work

I am optimistic that the work being done by various organizations means this celebration will translate into more opportunities and access. [Post has been updated based on this breaking news.]

Univision recently launched a campaign titled “Se Habla USA.” Having worked there and seeing the passion, commitment and recognizing the incredible brand equity the company has, I decided to reach out to get more insight on the campaign. This is what Jessica Rodriguez, president and chief operating officer of UCI Networks, and chief marketing officer of Univision Communications Inc. shared: “Given the narrative around diversity, languages and culture in the past months, as a company that has in its DNA to stand up and represent the underrepresented, we saw an opportunity to use the power of our platforms to further instill a sense of pride.  Univision is enabling our community to truly celebrate the beautiful language of Español, Hispanic culture, and all the achievements they have brought to this country. Se Habla USA aims to create a positive narrative and unite all cultures that make this nation so great and successful.” Talking about Univision, congratulations to CEO Randy Falco and the other honorees of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s 21st Annual Impact Awards.

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Last week Kapor Center for Social Impact unveiled “The Leaky Tech Pipeline.” Its “framework and website are meant to increase understanding of the causes of disparities in the technology ecosystem, raise awareness about effective strategies and stages for intervention, and drive the development and implementation of comprehensive solutions.” On the tech front, I learned about “Rise of the Rest” from an article in Wired. I think it is fantastic and would hope to see some border cities in Texas and New Mexico added to this effort in the near future.

On Friday I attended “The Future of Hispanics” conference, a project of The American Bar Foundation.  Here is the website created for this initiative which aims “to generate findings that can be utilized by organizations and individuals who work to advance justice for the Latino community.” It was an interesting conversation, the third conference to date. Having Dr. Eduardo Padron open by sharing his story was inspiring. The information and insight focused on Florida and Miami. As one attendee said, it was a very valuable discussion. Much more to come on this effort as the organization holds additional sessions across the country.

This week we also saw the report from MarketWatch titled “When a woman or person of color becomes CEO, white men have a strange reaction;” also this must-read piece in LinkedIn by Ashlene Nand titled “Ad Agencies Are Still So Shamefully White & It’s Affecting All Of Us;” and this from knowledge@wharton titled “How Firms Can do a Better Job of Leveraging Diversity.”

Last week it was announced the shutdown of UNITY, an umbrella organization for minority journalists. I had the opportunity to attend UNITY and found it an engaging and productive event, hopefully we’ll find other ways to have these groups come together.

Finally, in case you missed it, the regional grocery retail store HEB worked with Selena Quintanilla’s sister Suzette to create a reusable grocery bag with Selena’s image. The bags not only sold out but crashed the website. This was done more than for marketing, HEB is donating $25,000 as part of the collaboration.

Today I’m in DC for the International Women’s Day Forum convened by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the U.S. Department of State, more on that next week. 

 

Two new diversity reports, Women’s March, CEO Action, Apple partners with Malala Fund, Oscars, RENEWPR & more

This week let’s start with two reports that prove (again) that if you want a more innovative and stronger performing company you need diversity.

Here is this report from McKinsey, which expands on the one released in 2015 and which says that, “The business case for diversity continues to be compelling and to have global relevance.”  

FastCompany wrote about this second report titled “Do Pro-Diversity Policies Improve Corporate Innovation?”. The big takeaway is that: “Companies that fulfill all nine positive diversity requirements announce an average of two extra products in any given year, which about doubles the average for a major company (those that tick fewer boxes are less innovative proportionally). Moreover, the researchers find that companies with pro-diversity policies were also more resilient in terms of innovation during the 2008 financial crisis.”

The Sunday shows did not focus much of their time on the Women’s March this year…let’s keep that in mind as you read this headline, How the Women’s March Is Turning Protesters Into Politicians.” 

As you may recall, last year the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion (CEO Action) was announced. Today it has more than 350 member companies representing 85 different industries. The group recently convened C-level executives to discuss their efforts, more information here

On the education front, Apple announced yesterday that it is partnering with the Malala Fund to support education for girls. According to the announcement, the partnership is “designed to enable the nonprofit to double the number of grants it offers and extend its funding programs to India and Latin America.”

Another story that got my attention is this one from the Washington Post titled “These kids started a book club for minority boys. It’s the most popular club in school.”  Finding and having the students’ read books that represent them is driving engagement. This is a great model and hope other schools, libraries and educational institutions take notice.

Congratulations to Ben Finzel and our friends at RENEWPR on their third year anniversary – read more here on how the team is celebrating this milestone.

Let’s close with two of my favorite recent videos:

  • This one in which Ava DuVernay used her speech at the Image Awards to celebrate others, bravo!
  • Then there’s this one, listen to this part and see Ricky Martin’s reaction:  “I seriously went very berserk on Dean Richards because you have to understand, when you’re part of a minority, and you don’t have a lot of role models in media, and you have a Ricky Martin that wherever you go in the world, it’s a good name to mention as a Puerto Rican, oh my goodness you feel related to him.”

Here’s hoping to see much more representation in media and that Ana Belava meets Ricky soon!

Photo by Mohamed Lammah on Unsplash