Tag: diversity

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Government probes Microsoft’s effort to boost diversity

Microsoft says the U.S. Labor Department is scrutinizing its efforts to boost Black employment and leadership at the tech company.

Microsoft disclosed in a blog post Tuesday that it received a letter from the agency last week asking about the company’s June pledge to double the number of Black and African American managers, senior individual contributors and senior leaders by 2025.

“The letter asked us to prove that the actions we are taking to improve opportunities are not illegal race-based decisions,” said Dev Stahlkopf, Microsoft’s general counsel. “Emphatically, they are not.”


CEO Satya Nadella made the June hiring commitment in response to Black Lives Matter protests around the country and as part of a broader message to employees about racial injustice and promoting a culture of inclusivity at the Redmond, Washington-based company.

It’s not uncommon for tech companies to publicly tout efforts to increase staff diversity, given the industry’s longstanding dearth of Black, Latino and female workers in technical and leadership positions. But this time they are running into scrutiny by a Trump administration that has sought to intervene with universities and other institutions over their approach to race and discrimination.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month “to combat offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating” in the federal workforce and among federal contractors. Microsoft is a major federal contractor, supplying its Office workplace software and cloud computing services to multiple government agencies.

Labor Department representatives didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment Tuesday.

The Trump administration’s move contrasts a flurry of efforts by private companies and institutions to increase racial diversity in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests. There has been a particular emphasis on bringing more African Americans into leadership positions.

More than 40 private and publicly traded companies have joined

02
Oct
2020
Posted in programming

Edinburgh International Festival ordered to improve diversity in its programming

The Edinburgh International Festival has been ordered to ensure greater diversity in its programming by the Scottish Government in the wake of claims that women, disabled acts and artists of colour were overlooked in this year’s online programme.

Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 7:00 am

Soraya Mafi and Jonathan McGovern appeared in Scottish Opera’s production of The Telephone, which was filmed at the King’s Theatre. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic

The event is to be closely monitored in future to ensure it makes improvements and meets official “obligations” on equality, diversity and inclusion.

The government has revealed that the festivals has “accepted” there were a lack of “female artists, artists with disabilities and artists from non-white backgrounds in the online programme, which was announced in early August.

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The festival, which receives more than £4.5 million from the government and the city council each year, has apologised for the make-up of this year’s programme after being targeted in an online petition.

Stina Tweeddale, who performs as Honeyblood, was filmed at Leith Theatre for this year’s online programme. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

Formal complaints were also made to culture secretary Fiona Hyslop and Iain Munro, chief executive of the government’s arts quango, Creative Scotland. They were urged to take steps to “ensure positive change happens and that this organisation is held accountable for their unethical working and programming.”

Campaigners claim the festival failed to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement with a line-up of artists who were “almost 90 per cent white.”

The number of male performers in the programme were said to be double the number of women, while disabled artists were said to be overlooked completely.

Organisers admitted they had failed to “reflect the diversity of practice in

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Diversity training startup lost a client to Trump’s ban, CEO says

  • Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson said in a tweet Thursday that a recent executive order from the Trump administration banning certain types of diversity training at federal contractors already caused her to lose a a client.
  • Emerson said the type of training her startup provides does not violate the executive order, but that this company ended it just to “play it safe.”
  • She said that other companies are holding off on diversity training altogether because of confusion over the order.
  • Paradigm is especially known for providing training to Silicon Valley startups and big tech firms, which have historically struggled to achieve representation of minorities in their workforces and C-suites.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The CEO of a diversity training consulting firm said Thursday that her company has already lost a client due to President Trump’s recent executive order.

 

“We just lost our first client as a result of the executive order on diversity training,” tweeted Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson. “I’m sure it won’t be our last. Seems it’s having exactly its intended impact. I wish I could say I feel proud to be on the right side of history, but I just feel scared.”

Trump issued an executive order on September 22 that expanded a previous ban on certain types of racial sensitivity training at federal agencies. This September order also banned such training at contractors that want to do business with the government. A leaked memo on the ban, published by Business Insider’s Dave Levinthal, warned that government contractors who violate the ban will face “potential sanctions for noncompliance.”

Some in the corporate world voiced concerns that the move was a step backward for diversity in the workplace, including Aubrey Blanche of Australian startup Culture Amp, who described the orders as

02
Oct
2020
Posted in programming

UMMS diversity and inclusion programming to feature campus read, community conversations, diversity summit

© Ibram X. Kendi

UMass Medical School will hold a series of events this fall to help align and anchor diversity and inclusion programming, according to Chancellor Michael F. Collins and Terence R. Flotte, MD, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine.

They said it remains one of their highest priorities to bring together members of the academic community for exploration and discussion of ideas that challenge, open minds, broaden perspectives, advance the institution’s mission, and ultimately create deeper connections among all who work and learn at UMMS.

The medical school community is invited to participate in a “Campus Read,” featuring the book, How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi, PhD.

Dr. Kendi, an award-winning author and one of the nation’s leading scholars and historians of racism, recently joined Boston University as a professor and founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research.

UMMS has purchased a limited number of electronic copies of How to Be an Antiracist, which can be read on a Nook eReader (the eReader is available as a free download from the Barnes & Noble website). Email the Diversity and Inclusion Office at [email protected] for instructions on receiving a free copy.

Leading up to discussion about the book, all UMMS community members are invited to participate in campus-wide online conversations. Each of the following conversations will take place from noon – 1 p.m. and will also be recorded and shared on the UMMS Diversity in Action website. Upcoming emails from DIO Events will provide further information and registration details.

Community conversations include:

Oct. 21 – A Conversation on Gender Equity, led by Mary Ellen Lane, PhD, dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and interim vice provost for faculty affairs. Invited guest speaker: Gayle Capozzalo, executive director of

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Experian North America Expands Commitment to Culture of Inclusion With First Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Officer

Wil Lewis brings decades of diversity and inclusion expertise and leadership

Expanding on Experian North America’s commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusion, the company announced today Wil Lewis will join the organization as its first-ever Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer. In this role, Lewis will build upon Experian North America’s award winning programs to reflect the employees, clients and communities it serves, further the company’s commitment to diverse representation and continuously evolve the workplace culture where all employees are celebrated for bringing their whole selves to work. He most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion Executive for Bank of America.

“Embracing a truly inclusive culture, where everyone feels a real sense of belonging, is critical to building a diverse workforce and fostering innovation,” said Experian North America CEO Craig Boundy. “Our diversity and inclusion efforts have always focused on how we can contribute to a more equitable society within our Experian North America family, the communities we operate in and among the consumers we serve. We’re committed to being an agent for change and delighted Wil is coming on board to help lead that change with us.”

The creation of the new role highlights several critical components of Experian North America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion:

  • Building a company where inclusion fuels collaboration and innovation to develop products which enable financial inclusion for all

  • Ensuring that every employee feels emotionally connected to the company in an environment that is safe and supportive

  • Attracting, developing and retaining talent that represents the communities in which Experian North America operates

  • Institutionalize processes that will increase the number of diverse suppliers, disability accessibility tools and enhance the impact of external diversity partnerships

At Bank of America, Lewis led 11 employee resource groups with more than 350 chapters