Women in the workplace, board diversity, Sears, Facebook, Burlington Stores, Best Buy, CAA & more

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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Amazon, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Black Enterprise, CES, technology to address workforce diversity, plus more

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. saidartificial 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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Arlan Hamilton, Elizabeth Gore, Melinda Gates, Carla Harris, Freada Kapor Klein and much more

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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Crazy Rich Asians, Kelly Marie Tran, Washington Post, NPR, Marie Claire & More

This weekend I watched “Crazy Rich Asians” and it was such fun. Plus I love that, as many outlets noted, it once again proved the power of diversity. I also love the response by the Asian American community to the film, including this from Jane Mo or this from Kimberly Yam and of course the story about the letter sent to request the song Yellow from Cold Play. Then on Monday I was brought back to reality, about how much work needs to be done, after reading this from Kelly Marie Tran in the New York Times. I applaud her strength but saddened that we continue to see what she faces. Of course, the question now is what does the success of the film mean for Hollywood after the Box Office success of Black Panther, Coco and Crazy Rich Asians? More on that here and here. Plus this from Forbes on how “Latinos And (Crazy Rich) Asian Americans Are Hollywood’s Final Growth Frontier.” Patrice Tanaka, who you should also follow, has shared some great stories about Crazy Rich Asians and promoted the film, she did share this one that is critical of the movie.

I have been following the backlash the Washington Post received from Latino organizations and leaders over the story “White, and in the Minority.” The Columbia Journalism Review has this piece on the issues. I actually had reached out to the Washington Post before the NAHJ meeting and the CJR story were published because I had not seen a response. This is what I received, “The Washington Post has a long tradition of narrative reporting on the experiences of immigrants and minorities in America, as recent work by a number of Post reporters vividly demonstrates. Many of their stories recount the experiences of immigrants as they adapt to America and confront discrimination, shifting policies and other challenges. Terrence McCoy’s story captured the perspective of those who feel displaced by demographic change, by conveying what it is like for two white Americans who must themselves adapt to a new America. McCoy portrays their fear, resentment and xenophobia – as well as their responses to the attempts of their Latino co-workers to interact with them. McCoy’s work will continue to explore the emergence of a multicultural majority in America.” I leave the original article here, the piece from CJR and the response, so you can decide.

NPR also was criticized for the interview with hate group leader Jason Kessler, here is David Folkenflik on the backlash and read Brian Stelter’s piece on covering racists.

Other stories that i am following, this from CNN on the rise of Diversity & Inclusion jobs plus this on how to build a career in D&I; Citigroup’s three year goal to reverse its diversity failings; AARP has a new newsletter focused on African American women and Endeavor is now working with Papa John’s. If you are interested in D&I, the National Diversity Council offers a certification program

ICYMI Claudia Romo Edelman today shared that she was one of the special contributors for Marie Claire’s September issue focused on immigration. It is a must read! 

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Nonprofit diversity, Harvard, Vogue, Magazine Covers, Politics, Startups and the PR industry in the #MeToo era

Every day I save articles to include in the weekly blog post, and also do some searches to find some of the best coverage about diversity. That is why I appreciate it when some of you share articles I may have missed or catch a mistake and flag it for me. Thank you Xochitl Yañez for sharing this one focused on diversity in nonprofits, a very interesting read.

I also follow a number of individuals that share great content, including pieces they have written. Here is this from Monica Castillo focused on language, Ana Valdez shared this written by Miriam Rivera titled “How to be an ally in a diverse community,” One area that I focus on is startups, and follow leaders like Arlan Hamilton and Mandela SH Dixon and try to include articles like this piece on “105 black and latino founders who have raised $1mm+ in VC funding…”

One of the topics I talk about almost every week is that representation matters, which is why we we should celebrate that  “For the First Time, Black Women Will Run Four Schools at Harvard University,” and that, as the CNBC headline states,Women are shattering records in the 2018 primaries with more than a dozen states still to go.”Another story on the politics side, in Michigan, the Democrats have an all-female statewide ticket.  On the entertainment side, the fact that black women are on a number of magazine covers this month is also something to celebrate. Also, if you missed this from Vogue about advice for your 20 year old self based on Beyonce’s cover story, it is a great read.

We do have a long way to go, which is why Tuesday was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, read more here. This New York Times piece “When a Female C.E.O. Leaves, the Glass Ceiling is Restored” has great insights and data in general about women in the C suite.  

Finally, ICYMI, here is a must read post by Jane Randel, co-founder of Karp Randel, focused on #MeToo and the PR industry.

Thank you for reading and following. Please share any articles you think are important to include!

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PRWeek 40 Under 40, Board Diversity, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Beth Ford, LeBron James & More

Every industry has “power” or “leadership” lists, conferences and events that are important validators, provide access and awareness and can be important both for companies and for individuals. Yes these are competitive. Yes they are time consuming. Yes many require an investment in time and many times funding.  Why are they important? You see those that are being recognized are getting access and potentially more opportunities. Representation matters. That is why every time we see a list, a panel or industry awards that lacks diversity we speak up. I’ve seen several lists recently that make me wonder what the barriers for having more diversity are – i.e. Adweek Power List. The most recent one PRWeek 40 Under 40. Now if you look at this year’s list, it is diverse, and according to editorial director Steve Barrett, it is the most diverse. However, I do wonder why there seems to be only one Hispanic and one Asian American on the list, especially if you look at the demographics. Steve says he sees this as an anomaly if you look at previous years. I believe him as I’ve seen first-hand PRWeek’s commitment to diversity, in fact they produced one of the best videos on the topic for the PR industry, so my questions in this instance are more to those that nominate professionals in our industry. Also, don’t get me wrong – yes every individual on that list deserves to be there. I am also not advocating for quotas, that would be a mistake, but I go back to the numbers and demographics. If this generation is more diverse, and if as I’ve been told, we are seeing more entry level diverse individuals in PR, why is this not reflected in this list? Are there barriers we are not thinking of? Could this impact the pipeline of Hispanic or Asian American talent in leadership roles in PR? Food for thought.

Board diversity continues to be another issue, and something getting coverage today because of CBS, this from the New York Times: “Mr. Moonves, 68, has been the chairman of the CBS board since 2016, and the majority of its 14 members started their tenures after he was appointed chief executive in 2006. Three of the 14 are women, and the board’s average age is 73.” Here is this 2017 report from Deloitte on board diversity, a recommended read. Also some good organizations to follow and work with on board diversity include Women Corporate Directors, The Executive Leadership Council, The Latino Corporate Directors Association and Ascend.

Other stories I am following this week, this Annenberg study that highlights the ongoing diversity issues in Hollywood, Latino leaders asking for Paramount boycott, “Venture Capitals Diversity Disaster,”and this from Forbes, “‘I Want To Hire Someone Who Is Nothing Like Me’: An Entrepreneur’s Approach To Diversity.”

Congratulations to Beth Ford, named Land O’Lakes president and CEO and breaking new barriers. I love this, “Two Kenyan Entrepreneurs Create and Afrocentric Stock Photo Marketplace,”  and of course the new LeBron James school. Watch his CNN interview here. Also congratulations to Jorge Plasencia and Ilia Calderon being honored by HPRA this year!

ICYMI “Your Career, Your Terms” is a resource for women. Created by Perry Yeatman she has great interviews that, as the site describes “provides insights and inspiration to help ambitious women have the careers and lives of their dreams.” Don’t miss the second season of “Your Career, Your Terms: Pivot Points.”

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NAHJ, NPR report, ClassPass, Blavity, LULAC, N.B.A., “Vida”, Adweek, Walmart, Goldman Sachs, Humanæ & more

Last week the National Association of Hispanic Journalists hosted its conference in Miami and I loved having the opportunity to visit with some amazing journalists – the featured photo is one group – thank you Olivia Tallet! While visiting with attendees I had numerous conversations about the lack of Latinos as sources and how many Latino journalists continue to work to change this. On that note, thank you Lulu Garcia-Navarro for sharing this and this from @NPR that validates my earlier posts of lack of representation of Latinos in media. Of course this is not just a problem at NPR, look at this from the Columbia Journalism Review. The list we started of Latino sources now has close to 100 entries, so if you need Latinos as sources, save this link! Plus thanks to the NPR piece I found this – which I love – #womenalsoknowstuff. You can register as a source here but note “To be listed on this site, you must have: (i) a Ph.D. in political science or be working towards a Ph.D. in political science or (ii) be employed in an academic political science department.” CJR is also compiling a list, here is a link to that list (save this link too) and the form to submit other names.

This week there are many reasons to celebrate including ClassPass raising $85 million in Series D, Blavity securing $6.5 million in funding, Mindy Marqués Gonzalez, executive editor of the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald, was inducted into the NAHJ Hall of Fame, I posted about two Latina entrepreneurs being profiled in key media publications this past weekend, LULAC selected Sindy Benavides as its first woman CEO and a first generation immigrant and Domingo Garcia was elected president. I had missed this article on five women mobilizing the Latino community for the midterms which includes Sindy. Also loved this story from the New York Times: “N.B.A. Power Brokers Gather, With No Men Allowed.”

Of course there is still so much work to do, which as Cindy Gallop points out is evidenced in Adweek’s Power list which only features 12 women and no African Americans. 

Stories I am following this week include “This VR Founder Wants to Gamify Empathy to Reduce Racial Bias,” “How Latinos Are Shaping America’s Future,” “Possible key to black boys’ academic success: Hire black men as elementary school teachers,” Walmart investing $2 million in “diversity internships,” and Goldman Sachs has named Erika Irish Brown as its new chief diversity officer. 

Other stories include this from NBC News about Diane Guerrero’s new book titled “My Family Divided,” this from FastCompany about sunscreen startups catering to “long-ignored minorities,” and this New York Times apology for its Los Angeles travel story – another example of the importance of having diverse talent in newsrooms.  Actually after you read the New York Times piece that led to the apology, read this about the show “Vida,” written by two Latina writers.  For more stories on Latinos, here is this week’s Latinx Collective.

ICYMI, watch this great TED Talk: “The beauty of human skin every color.” Not new but something that I read about this week.