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WiCipedia: Doubling Down on Diversity & Google's Payoff Scandal

Eryn Leavens
11/2/2018

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Latinx women lag in VC funding; Google pays off its bad boys; glass cliffs are the new glass ceilings; and more.

  • A new study from digitalundivide called ProjectDiane examines the role of Latinx women in the startup world. TechCrunch explains that while Latinx women make up more than 17% of the US population, they only hold 2% of founder spots in women-run startups, and have raised only 0.4% of VC funding in the past decade (compared to 2.2% of VC dollars last year for all women-founded companies). Yet Fortune reports that new companies like All Raise are pairing minority founders with VC mentors in order to flip the funding paradigm. They aim to shift the number of female founders, and in turn, the demographics of where VC money goes. "As we improve that side of it, the deal flow, the number of women who get seen and eventually get funded by venture capital firms will also increase," one of the program mentors stated. Other companies are catching the bug too it seems. Capital Enterprise's OneTech, in particular, is doubling down on efforts. (See Comcast Contributes $100K to Latinas in Tech, WiCipedia: Brotopia Shocks, Revolar Protects & CES Disappoints and OneTech Aims to Double Diversity Amongst Founders in London.)

    'Diversity Is Not an Accident'
    Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp, wrote a fascinating article for Inc. about this very subject. He (an enlightened white guy) writes, 'I have nothing against white guys, but white guys don't reflect the world at large or our customer base. I believe a company is at its best when it reflects those it serves. If you fill a room with 20 random employees and 20 random customers, an outside observer should have trouble telling them apart.' Hear, hear.
(Source: Inc.)
    Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp, wrote a fascinating article for Inc. about this very subject. He (an enlightened white guy) writes, "I have nothing against white guys, but white guys don't reflect the world at large or our customer base. I believe a company is at its best when it reflects those it serves. If you fill a room with 20 random employees and 20 random customers, an outside observer should have trouble telling them apart." Hear, hear.
    (Source: Inc.)

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has mostly managed to sidestep the #metoo limelight in the past year, though a recent financial uncovering is changing that. CNET reports that Android creator Andy Rubin was let go from the company after news of a sexual assault accusation from a Google employee broke in 2014. Yet he didn't leave empty-handed. Since his departure, Google has been paying Andy $2 million per month, totaling $90 million. "In recent years, we've taken a particularly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority," Google's vice president for people operations, Eileen Naughton, said in a statement to the New York Times. "We're working hard to keep improving how we handle this type of behavior." Apparently that means making sure that harassers are paid off instead of paying for their crimes.

    Google employees from 20 offices around the world staged a strike on November 1 to protest the culture of harassment at the company. A New York Times article explains that employees planned to "walk out and present a list of five demands that includes an end to forced arbitration of sexual harassment and assault, increased transparency about compensation and the appointment of an employee representative to the company's board... Google declined to comment." (See WiCipedia: No (CIS) Men Allowed & Breaking Into a 'Male' Industry and WiCipedia: Diversity Fatigue & 'Unprotected' Minorities at Google.)

  • So you've broken through the glass ceiling and think you're in the clear? Think again. Career Contessa explains that women on company boards are frequently falling off glass cliffs -- in other words, women make it to the top yet are put in positions where they are doomed to fail. For example, a study showed that women are appointed to boards more frequently when companies are already failing: "These results expose an additional, largely invisible, hurdle that women need to overcome in the workplace," the study says. Researchers continued, "Consistent with the theory of the glass cliff, we find that occupational minorities -- defined as white women and men and women of color -- are more likely than white men to be promoted to CEO of weakly performing firms." Talk about creating a scapegoat, right? (See A Women in Comms Glossary and WiCipedia: Gendered Job Descriptions, Glass Cliffs & Gaslighting.)

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) is continuing its commitment to diversity and has achieved its first benchmark two years ahead of schedule, CNET explains via the company's most recent diversity and inclusion report. In a rather confusing explanation, Intel explains that it has hit "full representation," which in layman's terms means it now comprises 27% women, 9% Hispanic workers and under 5% African American employees. While these aren't terribly impressive stats, they are a great start. "The fact that we've hit this goal is just the start of another set of goals," said Barbara Whye, vice president of human resources and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Intel. The diversity report's catchphrase is "Be proud but not satisfied." (See WiCipedia: Best Initiatives for Women & Highest-Ranked Companies.)

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is dipping its toe in the women-only hackathon market. In an announcement on its website, DT explains that a "ladies-only" hackathon will be held in Berlin in mid-November, and it will focus on the role of AI and machine learning for women in tech. While clearly a little more old-school than recent hackathons directed at women, such as Tech, Rebalanced's no CIS men event, the DT gathering does focus on diversity in a changing tech environment and pretty much every jargony word you can drum up. (See WiCipedia: No (CIS) Men Allowed & Breaking Into a 'Male' Industry.)

    — Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading

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