In this HBR article Maxine Williams (Facebook’s global director of diversity) is talking about her own journey as a black female and why it is so important for companies to acknowledge that bias against minorities exists. According to Maxine, using people analytics (especially with the help of external data) might help companies to improve diversity & inclusion.
Very interesting! The Turkish language is gender neutral, so instead of the pronouns “he”, “she” or “it” they have a single pronoun, “o”. Earlier this week the writer Alex Shams shared on Twitter what happened when he entered a Turkish gender neutral poem into Google Translate to translate it into English– suddenly, everything was given a gender and the doctor became male and the nurse female. This is due to existing biases in our language and Google is actively working on addressing this.
A new study conducted at the University of Yale looked at the basis for prejudice and discrimination of minorities. In the past, scientists assumed that this is mainly based on the human flight-or-fight response, but the researchers found now that it might actually be an aversion to “broken patterns”.
Earlier this year we spoke about Getty Images, changing gender models and the trend for “women and STEM” searches. Getty Images has now shared how pictures of dads have changed over the years, and while 10 years ago the most downloaded pictures of fathers showed them engaging in very masculine activities, they now show the dads with their daughters, painting nails or baking.
Great TED Talk from Rocio Lorenzo (Boston Consulting Group) on why diversity is so important for innovation. Rocio and her team surveyed 171 companies and showed that there is a direct correlation between diversity and innovation, which results in higher revenues for new products and services.
Offering parental leave for both mothers and fathers does not only create a more inclusive work environment, it also helps to reduce the bias against women taking time off for their families. The insurance company Aviva has now announced that regardless of gender, their employees will receive 6 months of fully paid parental leave.
Hollywood has the tendency to cast white actors for Asian roles, so when Disney announced this week that Chinese actor Liu Yifei was chosen to play Mulan, there was a lot of excitement. The movie will be an adaption of the 1998 cartoon, telling the story of the brave female Chinese warrior Hua Mulan.
If you enjoy comics, this is for you: Chris Grady is an elementary school teacher and the creator of Lunarbaboon. His comics tackle various issues like gender roles and xenophobia and send a positive message about kindness and inclusion.
Over 90 companies have now signed up for the Tech Talent Charter in UK, committing to improve gender diversity in tech. HP is one of the signatories and they have not only committed to taking on at least 50% female interns, they have also created a new program supporting women to return into the workplace.
The University of Bristol and the York University in Toronto recently did a study to examine the implicit racial attitudes of children. According to the study, younger children show an automatic positive response when seeing other white children, whereas older children are not automatically positive. This is especially interesting as this helps us to understand how racial prejudice develops.
A year ago ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom, revealed that Facebook allowed advertisers to target specific racial groups for housing adverts. Although Facebook committed to update their policies and to reject any discriminating adverts going forward, this week ProPublica showed that they were still able to exclude users based on their ethnic background or religion when purchasing housing adverts.
When Chip Reece’s son was born with Down Syndrome, the comic book fan noticed that there were no superheroes his son could relate to, so he decided to come up with his own story. After presenting it at a local Comic Con last week, the book got international attention.
Microsoft has just released their latest diversity report. 27.3% of their workforce are women, up from 25.8% last year, but this is mainly due to the acquisition of LinkedIn. They also managed to (slightly) improve the percentage of minorities in their overall workforce as well as the percentage of females and minorities in technical roles.
Only a week after releasing their latest diversity report, Apple announced that their VP of Diversity & Inclusion, Denise Young Smith, will be leaving the company by the end of the year. Christie Smith, who was with Deloitte for 17 years, will take over from her.
The toy maker Mattel just announced the release of a new Barbie doll as part of their “Sheroes” collection. The doll was made in honour of the Muslim-American Ibtihaj Muhammad, who competed in the Olympic games wearing a hijab.
Australia just voted in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage and companies are celebrating the result on social media. Interestingly, most Australian brands (with a few exceptions like Coca-Cola and Airbnb) did not take a public stand supporting marriage equality during the campaign.
Apple has just released their latest diversity report and they are still predominately male and white. There was no change in the percentage of females in their overall staff but they became a slightly more ethnically diverse. With the release of the report, Apple also updated their diversity page, now showing a Muslim employee wearing a hijab.
Coke’s new advert “Change has a taste” is celebrating Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to lift the ban on women driving and shows a farther teaching his daughter how to drive. The video received mixed feedback with some people calling out Coke for capitalizing on this historic change.
Two countries in Europe decided this week to strengthen the rights of intersex and non-binary people (who do not identify as male or female). Scotland is planning to update its laws to make changing a gender easier and also allows for the recognition of non-binary people and Germany will officially introduce a third gender category.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society just released a new video as part of their “Anything but Sorry” campaign, telling people what they can say when a baby is born with Down syndrome. (Warning, the video does contain some inappropriate language.)