Monday, July 28, 2014

Microsoft Broadens its Microsoft Software & Systems Academy Program

Microsoft Corporation, in line with its continuing commitment to help the country's transitioning service members, has broadened its Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) program, bringing it to two military bases, in California and Texas respectively.

According to Live Trading News, Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced that its Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), a 16-week program that provides IT training to eligible U.S. active-duty transitioning service members, is now operating at Camp Pendleton in California and Fort Hood in Texas. The program was first launched in 2013 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, where a third class is now benefiting from the program.

Microsoft is very much aware that shifting to civilian life after serving in the military has always been a challenge for returning military veterans, and more so, hunting and competing for a job is such a daunting task. Hence, such program by the company is truly commendable and inspiring.

In its press release, Microsoft explains its rationale for the program's expansion:

"These military bases are home to some of the most talented, dedicated professionals our country has to offer," said Microsoft Vice President of Military Affairs Chris Cortez. "We've expanded our program because we want more transitioning service members to have the opportunity to pursue rewarding careers at Microsoft and other technology companies."
Microsoft Corporation, is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and one of the country's leading and multi-awarded diversity companies.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Healthcare Industry Needs Greater Diversity for Its Ailments


The healthcare industry is marked with challenges concerning the dispensing of or the availability of healthcare services to minority groups, notably the Blacks, shortage of minority physicians, and healthcare job opportunities in the industry, and increasing diversity is needed for these ailments.

It is said that the healthcare industry is marked with “persistent health disparities across race” and for which racial stereotyping can be a factor. This weakens efforts to properly dispense healthcare to minority groups. 

It has been found that black women's healthcare is thereby affected by this so-called negative racial stereotyping. A study, the first-of-its-kind, conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina and the Loyola Marymount University found that negative racial stereotyping causes anxiety among patients “when confronted by negative racial stereotypes while receiving healthcare.” Read more at:

Racial stereotyping has long been identified to cause minorities to shy away from physicians who are not of their race or ethnicity. Another study done in 2012, showed that:
 bias and stereotyping were associated with markers of poor communication during patient visits and resulted in low ratings of care by patients in a post-visit survey. The findings were particularly evident among black patients, who appeared most affected by these attitudes and behaviors.

To address the issue of stereotype threat, it is essential to increase diversity among healthcare practitioners so that more minority physicians can be available to provide competent patient care to those of their own racial or ethnic groups. However, that is another issue which ails the healthcare industry.

There are several initiatives to resolve the lack of diversity among healthcare workers. For example, the $85 million Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine to be built on the campus of New Mexico State University is as much about training minority and Native American doctors as it is about helping alleviate a doctor shortage in New Mexico, the report said.
Aside from increasing diversity among physician workforce, another mission of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine is to improve health care in southern New Mexico and along the New Mexico-Mexico border. - Read more at:

A medical summer camp program in Minnesota, aims to help increase diversity in the healthcare field as well.  The High School Scrubs Camp has been put up towards that goal, and it allows young people who are interested in the health care industry – or going to nursing or medical school after they graduate – get a taste of what working in the field is really like.
By encouraging and attracting young people to go into the healthcare sector, the medical summer camp program is deemed to increase diversity and the number of health care workers in Minnesota.  - See more here:

Recently,  it has been noted in an article
“Pre-baccalaureate healthcare workers make up a large share of the healthcare workforce and should be seen as an asset in providing high-quality, cost-effective healthcare,” write Martha Ross, Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, and Jane Williams in their new report detailing the size, characteristics, and growth of health care occupations employing large shares of workers with an associate’s degree or less.

The same article also adds 
pre-baccalaureate health care workers in the 10 highlighted occupations are racially and ethnically diverse, with large shares of blacks, Latinos, and Asians. They are thus positioned to help provide culturally competent care, an increasingly important value to health care institutions.
Clearly, diversity is seen as the best remedy for what ails the healthcare industry today.  The industry may not be as robust, but it is a time replete with lots of opportunities for recovery, reform and advancement.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Newly Signed Executive Order Protects LGBTs from Hiring/Workplace Discrimination


Finally, there is now legal recourse for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals being barred from the workplace with the signing of President Obama of Executive Order that protects LGBT applicants and workers from hiring and workplace discrimination.

President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order that bars discrimination against transgender federal employees, and adds people who identify as LGBT to a list of those against whom federal contractors can not discriminate. “We’re on the right side of history,” Obama said at a press conference. “America’s federal contractors should not subsidize discrimination against the American people.”

For religious freedom advocates, that could pose a major problem. Obama’s order does not provide an exemption for religious organizations, whereas the ENDA bill before Congress does.  Read more: 

It should be recalled that prior to the signing of this executive order, the Obama administration had been caught between a rock and a hard place, so to speak,as opposing religious groups – liberal faith leaders siding with LGBT rights groups and conservative religious leaders – square off on the issue of President Obama's upcoming executive orders that wprotects LGBT members from hiring and workplace discrimination.ill ban LGBT discrimination.  See here 

Also, major LGBT groups withdrew their support for ENDA. A statement written by National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey Tuesday in an op-ed in The Advocate partly reads: “As one of the lead advocates on this bill for 20 years, we do not take this move lightly but we do take it unequivocally – we now oppose this version of ENDA because of its too-broad religious exemption” - See more here

More recently, when feelers were sent that the executive order would not include any new religious exemption, other reports say the non-inclusion of a new religious exemption is the President's move against the recent SC ruling favoring Hobby Lobby's plea to be granted religious exemption from a part of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate. - See

However, President Obama himself remarked:
Equality in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, it turns out to be good business.  That’s why a majority of Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies in place.  It is not just about doing the right thing -- it’s also about attracting and retaining the best talent.  And there are several business leaders who are here today who will attest to that.
And yet, despite all that, in too many states and in too many workplaces, simply being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can still be a fireable offense.  There are people here today who’ve lost their jobs for that reason.  This is not speculative, this is not a matter of political correctness -- people lose their jobs as a consequence of this.  Their livelihoods are threatened, their families are threatened.  In fact, more states now allow same-sex marriage than prohibit discrimination against LGBT workers.  So I firmly believe that it’s time to address this injustice for every American.

Indeed, it is time to stop marginalizing people and keep them from gaining equal job opportunities just because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
American workers should be judged by one thing only: their ability to get the job done. That’s why the President has long supported federal legislation to explicitly prohibit employers across the country from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. For forty years, Congress has considered various pieces of legislation meant to address LGBT workplace equality. Last November, the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with strong bipartisan support. However, the House has failed to act. Read more of the Fact Sheet regarding President Obama's Executive Order here


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hobby Lobby Responds to Supreme Court's Favorable Ruling Over Obamacare HHS Mandate


Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. responded with joy to the Supreme Court's favorable ruling that it can uphold its religious belief in seeking to be exempted from part of the Obamacare HHS mandate the company considers as pro-abortion.


In a response to the decision, Hobby Lobby co-founder Barbara Green says, "Our family is overjoyed by the Supreme Court's decision. Today the nation's highest court has re-affirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country's founding principles. The Court's decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith. We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey." Read more at


A December 2013 Rasmussen Reports poll shows Americans disagree with forcing companies like Hobby Lobby to obey the mandate. “Half of voters now oppose a government requirement that employers provide health insurance with free contraceptives for their female employees,” Rasmussen reports. Kristina Arriaga, Executive Director of the Becket Fund, tells LifeNews, “In fact, the Greens pay salaries that start at twice the minimum wage and offer excellent benefits, as well as a healthcare package which includes almost all of the contraceptives now mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Their only objection is to 4 drugs and devices which, the government itself concedes, can terminate an embryo.” Read more at
  

Hobby Lobby, a top diversity company, has stood firm on its religious principles and cannot compromise these. It has always stood firm on its commitment and dedication to its people providing them with with an environment conducive for productive and long-term employment. Even in the midst of its legal battle with the government, it has continued working quietly rendering their customers good service. As of July 2014, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. has 576 stores across the nation and is one of America's fastest growing arts and crafts chains, a testament indeed of being a leader in retail.