By Freada Kapor Klein, Founding Partner of Kapor Capital and Allison Scott, CEO of Kapor Foundation The Supreme Court’s decision banning affirmative action in higher education on June 29, 2023, is part of a larger series of organized attacks on momentum and progress towards racial equity, particularly in the tech industry–including the lawsuit and recent injunction against Fearless Fund, for alleging racial discrimination and temporarily halting the VC firm from awarding its grants exclusively to Black female entrepreneurs; lawsuits against Perkins Coie and Morrison Foerster for their diversity law fellowship programs; the overturning of the Small Business Association’s focus on minority businesses; 13 State Attorneys General threatening Fortune 100 companies regarding their DEI programs and initiatives; legislation in Texas and Florida banning DEI offices in higher education and restricting related courses; backlash against organizational diversity statements; and tech diversity...
Oct 17, 2023
The United States of America seems to be at a consistent inflection point. From media-heavy events to moments of social unrest, there appears to be a pervasive tone that seeks to divide humanity rather than unite. While some would look the other way, hoping society will self-correct itself, other organizations and companies proactively work to create environments and cultures that champion justice through diversity, equity, and inclusion. UnitedHealth Group is a part of that work, intentionally implementing programs and initiatives that support and uplift their employees regardless of some societal status quo. UnitedHealth Group (UHG) created a strategic framework for advancing diversity rooted in recruitment tools, building cultural competencies, and continued education for equity and inclusion tools. For UHG, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a business priority. This working prodigy includes vast representation across demographics, including Black/African American,...
Reaching back and pulling others forward is essential to ensuring equity in corporate spaces. And that is precisely what the Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA) was created to do. BECA was founded by veteran Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Jerri DeVard. With decades of experience across several organizations, DeVard understands what it means to be one of the “only ones” in a space as well as the importance of having diverse perspectives at the table. Making sure the seats are filled with the right people, BECA works to amplify Black voices and create a pipeline that works to move emerging leaders into C-Suite positions.
In the aftermath of the unrest sparked by the murder of George Floyd in 2020, many companies made it a “trend” to appear as if their mission was to actively support the Black community.
Sep 22, 2023
The landscape of human resources (HR) is changing before our eyes, and it can be challenging to stay updated and informed as it evolves. However, this is where AfroTech is stepping in to support.
Aug 1, 2023
After being laid off by her former company, this woman is not letting up on her quest for justice.
Jul 19, 2023
Chick-fil-A placing a focus on diversity has a specific group heated.
May 31, 2023
A diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leader at Uber has been reprimanded after hosting an event for white women who are offended by the term “Karen.”
May 22, 2023
Editorial Note: Opinions are the writer’s own and not those of AfroTech. The values that a company upholds are an integral part of its very DNA, and reversing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts can greatly impact how companies attract and retain talent. Companies who want to attract and engage Black, Latino, and underrepresented talent and consumers, must build a culture founded on values that permeate every part of the business. Amidst ongoing news of layoffs, inflation, and economic uncertainty, many businesses have made the unfortunate decision to scale back on DEI efforts. These initiatives should not be considered an afterthought, but rather an essential piece of an organization’s culture helping businesses attract and retain talent, boost innovation, and drive growth. Company culture is increasingly important to employees – and can be a deciding factor for those considering quitting or choosing a new job. Whether that means creating inclusive environments, adopting...
May 9, 2023
The question that is sure to come up when talking about an event is, “Who all gone be there?” While it’s typically asked in jest, it’s usually posed to determine if a person would want to attend the event or how long they should stay there. For the people at asset management firm BlackRock Inc., the answer to that question would not include a majority of Black and brown people. Bloomberg reported that Black and Latinx leaders are quitting rapidly, despite “meeting diversity goals.”
Apr 28, 2023
Representation matters. From the election of the 44 th President Barack Obama to the almost cult following of the original “Black Panther” portrayed by the late Chadwick Boseman – there is something special about someone who looks like you in spaces that have historically been void. This perspective becomes increasingly more valuable regarding job and work cultures. As people of color navigate corporate and public-sector spaces for employment, one value at the top of most people’s list is a culture of inclusion and diversity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies are being employed across several sectors. Companies are making efforts to ensure their space is more in line with the representation that exists in the world. However, with the importance of equitable spaces at the forefront, HR leaders are tasked with recruiting and retaining qualified diverse talent that meets their DEI goals and provides varied influence and critical perspectives to their organizations....
Apr 7, 2023
The beautiful thing about fine art, specifically music, is that it speaks to the issues of the time. Often, those songs are made to address certain historic moments but end up being a case study of sorts for the future. It can be seen across genres in songs such as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” or Walter Hawkin’s “Thank You Lord,” where in one of the verses he sings, “economies down, people can’t get enough pay.” Although some of these songs were produced well before the issues of today, they are perpetual concerns that society has found itself facing again and again. Those same messages are on par with the pain points many people feel and are going through. One of those pain points is the economy’s impact on the job industry, and it has now impacted what is known as the happiest place on Earth. According to The Wall Street Journal, Disney is part of the long list of employers recently announcing layoffs. The Florida-based company eliminated its entire Metaverse division. At its...
Mar 29, 2023
Remember when the Lensa app had social media users in a proverbial chokehold? Almost everyone was giving us looks into a reimagined version of themselves through the power of artificial intelligence (AI). From retro outfits to futuristic ideas, people posted portraits that gave them a range of possibilities for how they show up in art mediums. And while not every single image was spot on, it did show the greater potential of what the technology can do. Lensa is just one example. Other emerging platforms such as AI chatbot ChatGPT and AIVA — an AI music generator — provide a world of possibilities for tech enthusiasts and casual users alike. With AI’s increased use and advancement, many companies are figuring out how to incorporate the technology into their work streams. But how much AI is too much?
Mar 28, 2023
So, Who Killed Silicon Valley Bank? Despite all the indicators of incompetence on the part of a senior leadership team consisting of over 60% men and 60% white people, the “Andy Kesslers” of the world flocked to The Wall Street Journal’s opinion section. The op-ed entertained the classic argument that focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion was distracting from the “real” business of running Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). How original and worthy of publication! Those who promote this idea seem oblivious to the fact that they are essentially admitting that homogeneous leadership teams are incapable of multitasking. If incorporating the perspectives of women, LGBTQ, and Black people is enough to cause a group of white men to fail in leading SVB, then they were not competent to manage a bank in the first place. So, let’s be clear — a focus and commitment to diversity is a strength and never a distraction. Research has shown that companies with diverse leadership teams are more likely...
Mar 15, 2023
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines Performative as “made or done for show (as to bolster one’s own image or make a positive impression on others).” This is what the word means as it relates to disapproving, self-serving actions. At the crux of events after the George Floyd murder in 2020, several actors in the United States responded in ways that did not move policy or legislation but were assumed to appease the heightened emotions of Black people across the globe. The referenced actions were described as performative, moves that seemed to speak to culture without addressing the root cause of what was happening. One of the most pervasive actions stemming from that year was that companies across several industries made statements about justice and equity while flooding job sites with new roles that support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives (DEI). Persons hired to manage and lead DEI departments were tasked with providing internal and external-facing solutions. They were...
Feb 28, 2023