Saturday, March 26, 2016

DiversityWorking.com Announces Datto as New Diversity Company-Member


DiversityWorking.com, a career opportunity resource and job search engine for the cultural diversity marketplace, is pleased to announce the inclusion of its newest company member Datto, to its prestigious roster of diversity companies.

Datto, an industry leader, is an innovative provider of comprehensive backup, recovery and business continuity solutions used by thousands of managed service providers worldwide. Instant Virtualization, Screenshot Backup Verification™, Inverse Chain Technology™, Backup Insights™, and end-to-end encryption – these are Datto's innovative technologies, all designed to enusre clients' business data are protected.

At Datto, everyone is encouraged to voice and share their ideas, each one valued for his/her unique contribution, thus translating to a positive, productive and progressive workplace and fulfilling careers. Founded by Austin McChord, named to the Forbes “30 under 30” ranking of top young entrepreneurs in 2015, Datto is a privately held, profitable company.

Committed to diversity and inclusion, Datto has partnered with DiversityWorkingis.com, whose mission is to help companies promote their jobs, build their brand and send targeted and qualified diversity candidates directly to the best jobs possible. Products and services include a resume database, job search engine, and targeted corporate diversity branding opportunities.

To find out more about Datto and its job opportunities, please click here.

DiversityWorking.com Announces O'Reilly Auto Parts as New Diversity Company-Member


DiversityWorking.com, a career opportunity resource and job search engine for the cultural diversity marketplace, is pleased to announce the inclusion of O'ReillyAuto Parts to its prestigious roster of diversity company-members.

O'Reilly Auto Parts is rooted in its mission to be the dominant supplier of auto parts in the market areas they serve, and with its humble beginnings in 1957, with just one store in Springfield, MO, it now operates in 44 states, including Alaska and Hawaii – a testament on its firm commitment to its mission of offering their retail customers the best combination of price and quality provided with the highest possible service level.

To carry out its mission, O'Reilly Auto Parts believes in getting and keeping the right and the best people for the job, and providing them with an attractive benefit and compensation plan. At O'Reilly, its work philosophy is palpable through its culture: Commitment to their customers and to their team members.

An equal opportunity employer dedicated to diversity and inclusion, O'Reilly Auto Parts has partnered with DiversityWorking.com, whose mission is to help companies promote their jobs, build their brand and send targeted and qualified diversity candidates directly to the best jobs possible. Products and services include a resume database, job search engine, and targeted corporate diversity branding opportunities.

To find out more about O'Reilly Auto Parts and its job opportunities, please click here.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and the Rule Book

The 2016 US presidential elections is like no other in recent history, with the Republican party being challenged by an internal divide – between the so-called Establishment and the anti-Establishment.

The party's 2 leading contenders are aligned with the anti-establishment: neophyte politico & business magnate Donald Trump, who looks headed to clinching the nomination, and Sen. Ted Cruz following close behind. Yet, between these two is a clear demarcation of character.

Whoever gets to be nominated faces the rest of the presidential fight against the Democrat's own nominee, who at this point, looks like Hillary Clinton, though Sen. Bernie Sanders is still in the thick of contesting her.

But the biggest stake in this election is the rule of law. The Rule of Law implies a government of law, not of men. It's a legal principle that a nation is governed by the Law, and not by the arbitrary decisions of individual government leaders, in contrast to a governance by rulers who consider themselves above the law: dictators, oligarchs and autocrats.(Wikipedia)

The United Nations defines the Rule of Law as “...a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards.”

In politics – as in any activities of an organized, civil society – following the Rule Book is a necessary dictum.


The Rule Book: How the Political Game is Played
To aspire for the country's highest post requires a candidate to comport him/herself in a civilized, respectable manner, in speech and actions; in short, in a presidential manner. To be guided by the Rule Book of politics likewise implies playing it fair and square, no cheating and backroom dealings.

But what happens if the Rule Book isn't followed? If at this point, a presidential candidate already has the audacity to make his own rules while campaigning, and if that candidate does indeed win  the election, then the integrity of the US Constitution being trampled upon is not a remote possibility.

A trip back to the corridors of history might help recall what the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution envisioned when they worked to construct the framework for the young nation and its governance.


Brief History of the U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, to replace the Articles of Confederation (1777) because it lacked the strength and power to govern a loosely held confederation of thirteen states, wherein Congress was the only organ of government. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the document on September 17, 1787, and came into force in 1789. It
 provides for increased federal authority while still protecting the basic rights of its citizens.
(Wikipedia, History.com)

Integrated into the Constitution is the clear delineation between the 3 branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary – setting in place a formidable Check-and-Balance system necessary to prevent each of the branches from having too much power.

Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, once saidThe basic premise of the Constitution was a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances because man was perceived as a fallen creature and would always yearn for more power.”

The Founding Fathers envisioned a nation of liberty, equality and justice; this is the legacy they have bequeathed to this nation and to the world, and which has shaped The American Dream.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers, said:
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Today's America has greatly evolved into a diverse nation; thus, it is incumbent on its leaders to preserve that heritage, and to add to it, a legacy of diversity and equal opportunity for all.


The Game According to the Leading Players
Between Trump and Ted Cruz, who do you think will follow the political Rule Book?

Ted Cruz, as described in a previous article of DiversityWorking.com, 5 Reasons a Hispanic Nerd Is Best for America and Diversity, is a nerd famous for making himself disliked even by his own partymates. That is so, for he's not afraid to stay pat on his convictions, and to go against what's popular among his fellow Republicans. Yet, a lawyer by profession, he is a staunch advocate of the Rule of Law.

He plays by the rules. He may have traded harsh words with his rivals yet he has maintained a respectable decorum, consistency of stance, and calmness.

As President, despite campaign promises he would overturn the executive orders and the landmark ruling on healthcare of his predecessor, Ted Cruz would most likely submit to due process and abide by the Constitution.

Donald Trump
At this point, the frontrunner of the opposing party is already perceived by many to be a man without scrupples, who'd openly buy politicians in order to gain power, perhaps due to his reputation of wealth and shrewd business acumen.

Not only that – Trump resorts to igniting hatred against minorities (blacks, Mexican Americans, Muslims, Jews); inciting his supporters to violence; and mouthing vitrolic rhetorics especially against Muslims, giving rise to Islamaphopia, and fueling fears and resentments among Muslim Americans.
A recent news says they are now making a strong stand.

Trump's campaign behavior is not presidential at all. Some say it's all “ braggadocio” yet he continues to dominate, sending panic to the Establishment faction of the Republican Party, with reports saying they are ready to throw their support behind Ted Cruz, albeit grudgingly.

Thus, in the event of Trump getting nominated, it will be the Grand Party no longer. It will be the death of the Rule Book – the death of fairness.

In a face-to-face with the Democrat nominee, whoever that may be, Trump, now emboldened by the stamp of his party's nomination, may resort more and more to his own rules. There'll be more mud-slinging in the last stages of the political campaign, and more divisive statements. Anti-Trump protest rallies will be held, as is happening now. (See this.)

Hence, some political scientists said a Trump presidency may herald an era of Authoritarian politics in America. The rise of American Authoritarianism can be alluded not only to Donald Trump alone, but to his growing legion of supporters.
“...the GOP, by positioning itself as the party of traditional values and law and order, had unknowingly attracted what would turn out to be a vast and previously bipartisan population of Americans with authoritarian tendencies.
This trend had been accelerated in recent years by demographic and economic changes such as immigration, which "activated" authoritarian tendencies, leading many Americans to seek out a strongman leader who would preserve a status quo they feel is under threat and impose order on a world they perceive as increasingly alien.
” (Vox)

And Donald Trump is that perceived strongman leader who embodies the classic authoritarian leadership style: simple, powerful, and punitive.


Just recently, it was reported that a  The Simpsons episode way back in 2010 is proving to be a presage of what is happening now. That episode featured a Trump candidate who finally became the U.S. President.
It was intended, according to its creator, as a “warning to America”, a horrifying and fantastical vision of the future in which the US – ludicrously – had elected as its president Donald Trump.

Is this what the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution envisioned America to be?


The Moral Choice
To be president of any nation is a noble calling – as such the person upon whom this honor and privilege is bestowed is expected to uphold the Law with utmost respect, wisdom, fairness, righteousness, without bias, and tempered by compassion and love for the country and its people.

A candidate who can uphold the Constitution and the Laws of the land; who can carry out the Founding Fathers' legacy of liberty, equality, and justice; and who can unify the people, not divide, is the moral choice than one who will bypass the law, or beat the political conventions, in order to attain power and victory.

Between Trump and Cruz, who will most likely carry on the great American Dream?

Whoever becomes the next U.S. President, may he/she be able to utter these words from Abraham Lincoln during his Inaugural in 1861:
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature
." Abraham Lincoln --- 1861 Inaugural



Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Fresh Market: A Unique Taste of Diversity and Inclusion

The Fresh Market is anybody's dream of a go-to place for fresh food, special customer care service and a unique experience in grocery shopping – credit this to the company's concept of providing “quality products to our friends and neighbors in a friendly and inclusive environment.”

Indeed, whether as a customer or as an employee at The Fresh Market, one gets a unique taste of diversity and inclusion. Diversity working in every aspect of the company's day to day life, morale is high in such a delightful, safe, warm, and inclusive environment.

Each employee is encouraged to contribute his/her unique perspective and outlook; special skills and talents, for the diversity of each is the strength of the company as a whole, helping them grow into different parts of the U.S. Not only that, it's also something that makes The Fresh Market a uniquely special, wonderfully different place to work.

Here are some facts that prove The Fresh Market's business model is a success, and continues to be so:
* It attracts top talents. In 2014, the company attracted over 450,000 applicants and it has over 1.8 million candidates in its talent pool.
* It continues to grow. Today, The Fresh Market has 168 stores in 27 states across the nation.
* It cares about people, as it gets involved in the communities they serve by sharing and providing for the needs of the less fortunate. One of its corporate community programs is its partnership with Share Our Strength, a nonprofit org dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the country.
* It specializes in quality. Only the best food products, a fresh array of specialty food and cooking experience are offered.

Its people are the backbone of The Fresh Market, and a most important unit of the organization is The Fresh Market Training & Development (T&D) team, which is responsible for creating the training tools and programs that support our business objectives by developing the capabilities and driving the engagement levels of individuals at many levels across the organization. It offers a variety of equal employment opportunities for all employees  without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, military status, disability or any other basis protected by law.

On top of that, the company shows its appreciation for their talented, dedicated, energized employees through its competitive pay scheme and benefit packages.

Truly, The Fresh Market is the best place to shop and dine, and to start a great, rewarding career of serving others.

Visit DiversityWorking.com today to find out more about how to start your own unique diversity career at The Fresh Market.

DiversityWorking.com Announces The Fresh Market As New Diversity Company Member

DiversityWorking.com, a career opportunity resource and job search engine for the cultural diversity marketplace, is pleased to announce the inclusion of The Fresh Market to its prestigious roster of diversity company-members.

The Fresh Market, founded in 1982, is America's fast-growing grocery store that is infused with “a fresh concept in grocery shopping” -  and that is “to bring friends, family and neighbors high-quality products in a warm and friendly, old-world European atmosphere.” From its first store in Greensboro, North Carolina, the company has grown to over 160 stores across the United States.

In 2014, The Fresh Market implemented its Recipe for Success, for direction and purpose. It envisions opening more stores each year, with each location creating over 90 full-time and part-time jobs. To be a place where employees with a strong work ethic can build lasting, fulfilling careers is the company's goal.

An inclusive workplace where diversity is valued, The Fresh Market has partnered with DiversityWorking.com, whose mission is to help companies promote their jobs, build their brand and send targeted and qualified diversity candidates directly to the best jobs possible. Products and services include a resume database, job search engine, and targeted corporate diversity branding opportunities.

To find out more about The Fresh Market and its job opportunities, please click here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

5 Reasons a Hispanic Nerd Is Best for America and Diversity

Diversity is an imperative not only for business, but in all fields of endeavor, including the business of running the country. More so, if the country is as diverse as the United States of America.

Leading the country is not just any kind of job, and the country's topmost job is not just for any candidate aspiring for that position. It requires a special brand of leadership, and a special kind of person.

As mentioned in the previous article, “A Nerd for President: What America Needs for Diversity,”
only a nerd can best answer America's need of the hour and one who is best for America's diversity.

At this pivotal point in America's history, being  election year with a roster of presidential aspirants like no other, and with significant values-transformation happening within and around the world, only one person fits the bill: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Running under the banner of the Republican party, he is in a close race with Donald Trump for their party's nomination.

Sen.Ted Cruz, is the epitome of a nerd, minus the physical stereotype: brilliant, smart, passionate and caring about their causes, almost to the point of obsession, and deep. Cruz, of Cuban-descent from his father side, is all that and more, not just because of his reported love for science fantasy and superheroes, as this article seems to denigrate this side of Cruz.

Nowadays, being a nerd no longer carries a negative connotation; in fact, according to this
treatise by a young nerd himself, the idea of nerd has made a “cultural resurgence,” that it's cool to be a nerd.

This article describe what makes someone a nerd, and why nerds are needed in the world.

A Hispanic-American Nerd, Ted Cruz, is indeed best for America and for diversity.

Ted Cruz's Profile:
Sen. Ted Cruz himself is diversity personified, having been born of mixed heritage:
father - born in Cuba, and of Spanish descent;
mother - born in Delaware, and of Irish-Italian descent. (Wikepedia)
Cruz's father left Cuba for the US at a young age to study, then met his mother. Shortly after getting married, the couple moved to Canada for their oil business, and Ted Cruz was born there in 1970. (IBTimes)

His parents' education backgrounds contribute, some say, to Ted Cruz's nerd persona.
Rafael Bienvenido Cruz was a mathematics graduate, and Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson, was a computer programmer.
Nerds are said to be excellent at and passionate about science and technology. Information technology jobs are among those that will continue to grow in demand for the next decade.

Cruz's Educational Attainment:
Undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Cum Laude, from Princeton University
Law school: Juris Doctor, Magna cum Laude, Harvard Law School


Indeed, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Such brilliance has lent luster to his legal and political careers.

One of his earliest achievements before entering into the political field was to be the 1st Hispanic to work as clerk for a U.S. Chief Justice.
He also served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003-08. (Wikipedia)

Those desiring to pursue legal jobs will find in him a great inspiration.

At some points, he had his private practice at firms where he worked quietly, successfully handling big cases. By the time he entered politics in 2012, Ted Cruz had already established a solid, sterling legal reputation, earning for him accolades, such as:
- one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America in 2008 (American Lawyer Magazine)
- one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, 2008 ( The National Law Journal)
- one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century in Oct. 2010 (Texas Lawyer)
- (Wikipedia source)

Policies
Ted Cruz's political stance on issues is well-known to be consistent, and he's made of sterner stuff than other politicians who cater to their constituents or followers just to get their support.
But with Ted Cruz,  he is known for not backing down amidst the storms that threatened to silence him.


Here are only some of his well-noted, controversial political positions.

On Immigration
Among his strong long-held views is on immigration. He stands firm against illegal immigration, and wants to reform legal immigration to protect the interest of American people. “I would urge people of good faith on both sides of the aisle if the objective is to pass common sense immigration reform that secures the borders, that improves legal immigration and that allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadows,” Cruz said in 2013. (Wikipedia)

On Abortion and Marriage
Ted Cruz is strongly anti-abortion:  “We need leaders who will stand unapologetically in defense of marriage and life,” Cruz said.

On Death Penalty
"I believe the death penalty is a recognition of the preciousness of human life."

One notable position he has held relates to the scope of government: Cruz wants to decrease the size of the government significantly, reminiscent of Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the U.S., with whom many compare Ted Cruz, as a nerd, due to their similar strong, quiet, no-nonsense style of leadership, no matter how unpopular their choice of actions be.

You can read more about Ted Cruz's political stance here and here.

5 Reasons Ted Cruz is Best for Diversity
1. As shown in his brief profile above, he himself personifies diversity.

2. Being a Hispanic-American, of Cuban heritage, he can easily connect with this large, influential segment of the U.S. population, and can relate to the plight of Hispanic Americans. Although he is adamant about putting an end to illegal immigration, favoring deportation of illegal aliens, he is also open to legal immigration reforms and favors increasing the number of skilled foreign workers entering the United States using H-1B visas, from 65,000 to 325,000 per year.

3. Strong and committed he is to his convictions, yet he does not impose, and is open to letting others have the freedom of choice, on personal matters such as same-sex marriage.
Even though he stands strongly against same-sex marriage, he believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide.

4 He is well-versed and articulate on all issues and knows exactly where he stand on these, so he kenows where to take the country. He is the only one among the candidates, from both sides, who has the capability and the moral principles to rally together the diverse demographics that make up the American nation on the journey towards reclaiming the great American dream.

5. Ted Cruz is a Nerd, as this article seems to agree.






Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Nerd for President: What America Needs for Diversity

The U.S. is in the heat of the presidential race, with the Republican party now seeing a close fight between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, while Hillary Clinton still leads among the Democratic hopefuls.

As the primaries continue, a question to ponder is what kind of president America must have. One can look back at history to get some insights.

It had a charismatic president in John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the U.S., whose shortened presidency evoked an image of the mythical Camelot, bringing hope and idealism to a nation grappling with civil rights issues.

But such appealing leadership no longer resounds nor can suffice in today's context, even though racism still tears at the very fabric of American society.

Why A Nerd Leader?
With the ever-growing racial and ethnic diversity of today's American population, alongside other diverse aspects of American people, myriad challenges confront the country, from within and outside. Wars, ISIS threat, climate change, poverty are among the big issues the next U.S president needs to address.

Only one who is a Nerd can answer to that clamor for a committed, fearless, principled leader, with a concrete vision of where America will be in the distant future .

A Nerd is intelligent, smart, strong and possesses persistent dedication to his goals and singularity of purpose. Thus a Nerd for President can rally the country together in the journey to that great vision.

Why? Because a Nerd Leader is not afraid to put his foot down, firmly say No, and become unpopular.
A nerd is comfortable being unpopular because most of the time, he is just that. And it is better for him that way, for it gives him the space and freedom to explore new ideas and envision greatness.

Yet, a nerd knows how to be flexible. He can have the charisma to win over people from the other side.
Although he may seem to go against the grain, a nerd can mingle and communicate well with different minds. So a Nerd for President of the United States of America is good for Diversity.

Having experienced being shunned because of his smartness, he knows how it is to be marginalized or isolated. So a Nerd for President can have the Empathy and Compassion to understand the plight of the discriminated segments of American society. He can then endeavor to make diversity working in society through inclusive programs he will initiate.

A Nerd for President can use his office to galvanize lawmakers and other policymakers to remove the vestiges of systemic racism, an underlying cause of the persistent discrimination in the country.

History's examples:
Looking into the pages of history, one finds Calvin Coolidge, the country's 30th president who took over the presidency when Pres. Warren Harding died in office, as a fine example of a Nerd president, though that description has never been directly ascribed of him. He was noted to have overcome the corruption scandals that marred Harding's tenure.

Somewhat of a nerd because of his somber and taciturn personality, he became known as “Silent Cal.”  As president, his conservative policies favoring the business sector, and his hands-off leadership, led America to economic prosperity; hence, the Roaring Twenties.  (Miller Center, U. of Virginia) President Coolidge showed a singularity of purpose, not minding naysayers around him as long as he could carry out his goals, sincerely believing it his for the country's greater good. He worked quietly, unobtrusively letting other leaders in the government have their say as long as he saw it was good.


We invite the readers to reflect on these questions:

What kind of leader makes for the best president for America?
Who do you think among this year's presidential candidates fits the mold of a Nerd Leader, and who, foremost, will be good for diversity?

We will discuss this in the next article; meanwhile, you may post your thoughts in the comment box below.






3 Key Diversity Takeaways from #OscarsSoWhite 2016

The winners have been named, the Oscar statuettes already enshrined in their respective recipients' homes, yet the #OscarsSoWhite remains in the spotlight. Certainly the declared winners deserved their wins, but there are actors and actresses of color deserving as well of the Oscar, such as Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, Viola Davis, Queen Latifah, and more.

Because it has been the 2nd year in a row that no black nominees for the top acting categories were named ths year, conversations on Hollywood diversity has stirred again propelled by #OscarsSoWhite 2016.

Here are 3 key insights from this year's #OscarsSoWhite 2016.

A. Hollywood Diversity Matters
“...when everyone’s story is told, then that makes for better art. It makes for better entertainment. It makes everybody feel part of one American family...” - part of what President Obama said when he spoke on the diversity issue surrounding #OscarsSoWhite 2016.

* Diversity is inclusion.
Diversity is best understood through the prism of inclusion. Inclusion is about making everyone feel they belong to the same group; they are as important as the rest of the members; they, too, have important contributions to make.

Through the prism of inclusion, no one views oneself as superior nor inferior to others, for each one is unique and valuable; each individual may differ in many ways from another, but all are equal just the same.

Inclusion is diversity-in-action. It is inviting everyone to the table; it's recognizing the special talents each one has, and letting each partake of their share in the pie.

The fact that the voice of protest was heard again after the Oscar nominations were announced – this year as it was last year – shows Hollywood talents of color felt the injustice of being left out in the cold. Rightly so.

Actors and actresses of color are artists, not mere entertainers, so they as much deserve due recognition and honor for excellence in their craft. So do other minority and women talents working behind-the-scene jobs.

Contributing factors to #OscarsSoWhite
- The #OscarsSoWhite is mainly attributed to the Academy's membership profile that is largely Caucasian and male even from way back. Academy members with voting rights are 93 percent white and 76 percent male, according to a recent report by The Atlantic.
To some extent, the #OscarsSoWhite is also seen as a result of Hollywood's notorious lack of diversity.

- Another problem for decision makers is to view diversity from the limited periscope of compliance. Not enough organizations take the next essential steps of creating a work environment that promotes inclusion in all its variations.(Dupress)

- The role of racial bias cannot be discounted as well. According to a New York Times article,  “even if, in our slow thinking, we work to avoid discrimination, it can easily creep into our fast thinking. Our snap judgments rely on all the associations we have...”

This was echoed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, who won as  best director, for "The Revenant" – "We are still dragging those prejudices and tribal thinking at this time. It seems absolutely absurd." (ABCNews)

Best approach: Inclusive Attitude
Thinking in terms of inclusion should help avoid a reprise of  #OscarsSoWhite. But an inclusive attitude needs more conscious and sincere efforts –  individually and collectively –  to develop; otherwise, it will only be reduced to the level of just saying it, with no forward action done.

New measures can be adopted to counter the myriad challenges to diversity in the film industry, such as the moves current Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, is spearheading. But unless film people in authority, with the money and power move to tip the scale towards greater inclusion of women and people of color before and behind the cameras, the same old problem will persist; #OscarsSoWhite will make a comeback.

* Diversity means creating job opportunities to underrepresented sectors
Film-making is more than creating entertainment. It is creating jobs and equal opportunities, and there is much leeway for movie producers, talent scouts, casting directors and others involve in the hiring of movie actors and actresses, and behind-the cam creative talents to cast their nets and reach out more to minorities and women with the passion, skills and great potential. 

The Occupational Outlook Handbook projects an employment growth of 10 percent from 2014 to 2024  for film acting jobs, and this growth will arise from continued strong demand for new movies and television shows.

The OOH likewise projects a 9 percent job growth for producers and directors in the motion picture and video industry for the next 10 years stemming from strong demand from the public for more movies and television shows, as well as an increased demand from foreign audiences for U.S.-produced films.

Executives and agents believe color-blind casting must trickle down to up-and-coming stars to create more opportunities for minority actors. "In film, as opposed to TV, you're chasing names a lot," says one producer. "We need to create more names now." (Hollywood Reporter)

* Diversity involves creating an inclusive pipeline of talents.
The UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies conducted a study in 2014 and found minorities and women are underrepresented in influential positions in the film industry at rates far below their percentage of the general population.

One significant finding of the study involves talent agencies which are said to be “not representing the underrepresented.” There is a tendency for top agencies  to fill up their talent rosters with whites.

The study also found that with greater diversity in TV and film productions actually increases viewers, resulting in higher profits for studios and networks.

With continued strong demand from the viewing public for more films and TV shows, and with the rapidly growing diversity of the American population, calls for greater diversity grow stronger, more imperative and urgent than ever.

Speaking of the Oscar Awards show, one article noted: When the show host lays an egg, audiences turn off; when they haven't seen the movies, they turn off; when they see no faces of colour, they turn off. And if they're young and computer-oriented, they don't turn on in the first place. They hear about it on Twitter instead. (Sidney Morning Herald)

B. Diversity Talks Can Include Race without Making It an Issue
Diversity is such a sensitive, contentious and divisive topic for so many reasons. One element that makes it so is race, which is an issue for many. Yet, diversity conversations can include race without making it an issue.

Just like in making films. A story can be made up of diverse racial characters, or of  lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders, or of women, without focusing too much on the negative side.

Diversity can be presented as a normal thing. As one article observes about TV serial shows which perform much better than film, in terms of portraying diversity and inclusion of minorities and women in the casts:
“...while shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Transparent put gender and sexual identity front and centre, in The Walking Dead "minority" traits are rarely the thing that define characters; being African American or gay is a part of a character's identity, but never the most important thing. Diversity, in other words, is normalised.” (Sidney Morning Herald)

C. Films as Powerful Vehicles of Diversity and Social Change
Films exert strong impact on the viewing public, especially films with social relevance. They impact the minds and hearts of the young far more than can be imagined, studies show.

Thus, films are powerful and influential vehicles of social awareness and change. Here is an excerpt on the effect of films on viewers:
Advances in neuroscientific understanding have shown that “the brain is more hard-wired for sociability, for engaging with others, and for empathy than we had realized,” said Kramer. “The brain developed as a visual-auditory sensory processing system, which, when you think about it, is what film does.” A film is successful to the degree that it connects to the audience emotionally, said Guttentag. “Story and character are the two most important elements for helping people connect with a film.” Libresco agreed, adding that the elements of good story making include “great characters, each of whose lives has an arc; the layering of multiple stories; beautiful cinematography; and the ability to make audiences cry and laugh.” (Harvard Gazette)

Films shown with a diversity of real-life themes, with the inclusion of actors and actresses reflecting the true face of American population, can go a long way in helping erase embedded prejudices, biases and stereotypes.

The task of increasing diversity in Hollywood, in all aspects, and equally as important, in nominating deserving artists and entertainers for the Oscars is daunting, but doable. Two years in a row is bad enough for an #OscarsSoWhite, and the third time could spell doom.





Thursday, March 3, 2016

Why ESPN's The Undefeated Will Drive Diversity and Social Change

As noted in the 2nd part of this DiversityWorking.com article, the motive behind ESPN's The Undefeated is being questioned and criticized, branding it as promoting segregation or being racist.

This is the 3rd part which examines the lack in gender and racial diversity at Silicon Valley, and how business ownership by women and minorities can improve the lives of these oft-disadvantaged segments of American society.

Data on the diversity lack at Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley, home to many American and global tech giants, is widely known for its acute gender and racial diversity. Efforts to improve the diversity situation seem to be slow moving.

A report last month gave the following figures to show the country's main tech hub is still overwhelmingly white and male:
Analysis of employees at the leading tech firms that report such figures reveals, on average, 71 percent are men, 29 percent are women, 60 percent identify as white, 23 percent Asian, 8 percent Latino, and 7 percent black.

To boost the promotion of diversity in Silicon Valley, no less than President Obama himself has given his full support especially for tech startups, as noted in one of DiversityWorking's articles: As of August last year, women were reported to comprise 30% of the teach industry workforce despite representing 59% of the total workforce and 51% of the country's population, according to data from the US Census Bureau.

Another presidential initiative involves the $118 million funding for economic and research programs that can provide minority girls and women with equal opportunities to prosper and overcome structural barriers.

Women and minority representation in STEM
A  US Census Bureau study found disparities in the STEM workforce, based on the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS).

Some of the findings include:
STEM Employment of Women:
* In 2011, 26 percent of STEM workers were  women and 74 percent were men, even if women made up almost half of the working population;
* Women remained significantly underrepresented in engineering and computer occupations, occupations that make up more than 80 percent of all STEM employment;
* Women’s underrepresentation in STEM is a result of their significant underrepresentation in engineering and computer occupations, rather than math and science occupations;
* In 2011, women representation in the different STEM jobs were broken down into:
        3 percent of engineers;
        27 percent of computer professionals;
        41 percent of life and physical scientists,
        47 percent of mathematical workers, and 61 percent of social scientists.

STEM Employment of Minority Races:
* In 2011, non-Hispanic Whites and Asians were seen to be over-represented in STEM: though non-Hispanic White comprised 69 percent of the total workforce, they dominated with 71 percent of STEM jobs, and Asians held 15 percent of STEM jobs compared with 6 percent of all jobs, the study reported.
* The Blacks had a 6 percent share of STEM jobs; both American Indians and Alaska Natives had a 0.4 percent share of STEM jobs; other race only had a a 1 percent share of STEM jobs.
* The same was true with Hispanics as being underrepresented. In 201, although they made up about 15 percent of the workforce, only 7 percent of them had STEM jobs.

This curated article takes a close look at the diversity situation in the tech industry.
Despite the grim picture, however, it is said that there is much hope for tech diversity to increase, according to Diversity Outlook for the Tech Industry.

Diversity Initiatives
Many tech companies/organizations certainly do their committed best to drive diversity in their workplaces, yet efforts towards this goal collectively fail to show improvement in the diversity landscape of Silicon Valley. There should be more sincere, vigorous endeavors towards increasing the representation of women and people of color in the workplace.

Diversity events are a way to boost tech diversity and among these was last year's Tech Inclusion 2015 .

Meanwhile, this article features some of the best practices, shared by David Chavern, President of the U.S. Chamber Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, and Founder of the Center for Women in Business, that tech companies can integrate into their own diversity initiatives to put more women in leadership positions. Chavern promotes the idea that more women leaders in tech contribute to success.

Indeed, women are a force to reckon with in STEM, as exemplified by the country's women scientists.

One way to vigorously increase diversity, not only in STEM but across all industries, is to encourage, promote and  support business ownership by women and minorities.

Diversity in entrepreneurship makes for a vibrant economy, more so when people who put up their own
companies or businesses are fueled with passion, drive and motivation to help others, especially their own. Just like African-Americans.

Here is an excerpt from a Business Journals report:
When asked about their motivations for becoming a small business owner, a large majority (72 percent) of blacks cited the desire to be their own boss, compared to 52 percent of whites and Hispanic buyers and 38 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander buyers. African-Americans were also the most likely to be motivated by better income opportunities and better lifestyles as small business owners. [...]Although small business ownership remains a male-dominated career path, business ownership is growing among women, especially within the minority demographics.Women made up 39 percent of African American buyers, by far the highest percentage of all ethnic groups.

Benefits of minority-owned and women-owned businesses
Studies on business ownership by minorities and women show how beneficial these enterprises are.
a. Black-owned businesses can reduce incidence of youth violence, one new study shows. Sociologist Karen F. Parker of the University of Delaware found a growth of African American-owned businesses was strongly linked to a reduction in black youth violence between 1990 to 2000.

b. People are challenged to support businesses run by someone of the same race, as this article reported regarding the need for black people to support black-owned businesses in order to survive. -

c. In relation to the aforementioned challenge, this Huffington Post article says at some level, residents within a community do indeed economically enhance that community when there is a significant amount of patronage of local businesses. It talks primarily on African-American owned businesses wherein, from a historical lens, it can be said that black spending can help boost Black employment. 

d. Businesses owned by women and minorities have the potential to land federal and state contracting opportunities, through the support of the Small Business Administration.

The 8(a) Business Development Program assists in the development of small businesses owned and operated by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged, such as women and minorities. (Wikipedia)

In its just released data, US Census Bureau reported that the number of minority-owned enterprises in the U.S. grew by 38 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to the 2012 Survey of Business Owners just released by the Census Bureau. The number of woman-owned firms jumped almost 27 percent nationally in that time, while the number of veteran-owned firms grew by 3 percent. An encouraging news indeed.

Gender and Racial Diversity in Media Ownership
There is also an acute gender and racial diversity in media, in terms of ownership. The downside to this is news stories are permeated with negative stories of people of color, and women being underrepresented in the news, according to Free Press.  This lack of accurate coverage — or of any coverage at all —relates directly to media consolidation. Mergers have kept female and minority media ownership at low levels […] As consolidation cuts back on the number of TV and radio station owners, women and people of color have fewer chances to become media owners and promote diverse programming.

Women and people of color have their own narratives to share, their own issues and challenges; thus,  who can better tell their stories than they themselves, with their own perspectives and nuanced by their personal experiences?

A Work In Progress white paper co-written by an academic team from the University of Connecticut offers a different take on promoting diversity in media ownership, an excerpt of which reads:
“...First, because businesses themselves are only interested in reaping the economic rewards of diversity initiatives, social movements need to push for real inclusion and economic equality for marginalized groups in the business world. Second, trends such as media consolidation and the dearth of critical narratives around the business case for diversity suggests a need for social group diversification in business media ownership and production that can open up further space for discussions addressing corporate diversity and inclusion as a social problem rather than an economic imperative.”

The diversity case for The Undefeated
To paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg, reported to have admonished his employees for crossing out ‘black lives matter’ and writing ‘all lives matter’ on the walls at MPK, it can be argued that just because ESPN's The Undefeated is intended to be a fully black-media that it seeks to create division nor exclusion from others; it does not mean it is being racist or promoting segregation.

As explained above, Black Americans do have every right to own and run their own companies. They have the right to equal opportunity. The Undefeated will increase equal opportunities for black people.

The Undefeated, a timely addition to the dismal list of black-owned media outfits, will be a vehicle of social change, promoting diversity not so much only for the money, but more so for the upliftment of  African-Americans, women, other people of color and marginalized sectors of American society.