Short up top today because I’m on the move, but as always, doing the work.
The good people at Great Places To Work have asked me to moderate an all-star panel at their Great Places to Work For ALL conference, which continues today and tomorrow. The team behind the 100 Best Companies to Work For list on Fortune is evolving their thinking about what it means to build an inclusive workplace filled with engaged employees, so expect the conversations to be lively. (The addition of “For ALL” is a pretty big hint of what’s to come, so do tune in if you can.)
Our panel, Navigating the Complexities of "4ALL" in a Global Business will speak to the challenges of inclusion, while offering important tips for what works well and how to push past resistance in your own organizations. Leading the way will be:
- Corey Anthony, Senior Vice President - Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer, AT&T
- Beth A. Brooke-Marciniak, Global Vice Chair - Public Policy, EY
- Francine Katsoudas, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Cisco
- Nancy Vitale, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Genentech
We go on at 4:30pm today Central time, but the entire day should be right up your ally alley. If there's anything you want me to ask the esteemed panelists, hit me up on Twitter, then watch the live-stream here, or follow the hashtag #GPTW4ALL for all the action.
Taiwan takes an important step toward allowing same-sex marriage
Today, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, making it the first country in Asia to do so. “The result of the constitutional ruling is not a victory or a defeat, no matter what attitude one holds on the same-sex marriage issue, this is the time when we look at all people around us as our own brothers and sisters,” Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen wrote on Facebook. The government will be drawing up a related proposal for legislative review, but didn’t specify how they would enact the change. Proponents want existing marriage laws amended to include same-sex couples.
The FADER's special issue on immigration reminds us that we're all from somewhere
The May/June issue of the FADER hit newsstands yesterday. The Diaspora Issue is devoted to the unique lives of immigrants and their new communities, the perils of border crossings and how music plays an indispensable role in soothing tensions and re-connecting people with their cultures. There are four separate cover stories, all worth your time. I’d start with the story of Romeo Santos, one of the most influential Latin pop stars around, from the Bronx by way of the Dominican Republic. The bachata heartthrob has also become a brand whisperer, teaching Audi, Macy’s, PepsiCo among others, better ways to sell products to Latinx audiences around the world.
Apple watchers hope that a new diversity position will herald a new era of inclusion at the company
Denise Young Smith, Apple’s former global head of human resources and a twenty-year veteran of the company, has been tapped for a newly created vice president position in charge of diversity and inclusion. She will be reporting directly to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook. Diversity watchers may remember that the last D&I professional at Apple was Jeffery Siminoff, who left the company in late 2015 to join Twitter. Where Siminoff, a director, reported to Smith, her elevated corporate status means more access to C-Suite thinking. Sources tell Techcrunch that this is a “significant upscaling of responsibility,” and are hopeful that “Denise’s years of experience, expertise and passion will help us make an even greater impact in this area.”
If you live in safe and affordable housing, you will be healthier and live longer
In the East Harlem neighborhood where Dr. Prabhjot Singh works, he asks his patients some surprising diagnostic questions: “Where do you live?” “Do you think you are at risk of becoming homeless?” “How often in the past 12 months were you worried or stressed about having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage?” He’s learned that people with insecure housing are often sickened by the substandard conditions, or too worried about their lives to take care of their health. As their health deteriorates, their cost of care skyrockets. A doctor at the helm of HUD should be able to better understand the intersection of health and home, he suggests. To that end, he offers a laundry list of suggestions for better policies that will provide true safety nets for the working poor. Here are two: better utilize health impact assessments and “give states more flexibility to use Medicaid funds together with non-healthcare spending,” he says.
A new black ‘Bachelorette’ dredges up the same old race problems
I stopped tuning into these shows ages ago, but this chatty watch-along-with-us from Amanda Hess, Jon Caramanica, and Jenna Wortham makes me think that this version will be a constant series of cringe-inducing object lessons on race. Rachel Lindsay is the latest bachelorette, looking for love among a diverse scrum of attention-seeking competitors. And she’s black. “I’m not expecting ABC executives to know how to handle the racial dynamics of this show,” declares Wortham. “But the moments when the racial dynamics do leak through are fascinating.” And freakishly awkward. “When Dean infamously told Rachel in “After the Final Rose” that he was ready to “go black” and “never go back” — and then licked his lips and stared at her with all the confidence of a mediocre white man — I naïvely hoped that he would be set up as a heel instead of a true romantic prospect,” said Hess. But then they made sandcastles?
The Woke Leader
The long-term ill effects of European beauty ideals on black and brown women
Speaking of ‘The Bachelorette’, it’s worth remembering that ideas about beauty, which have long been derived from European standards of light skin, certain body types and hair, have measurably negative effects on the lives of black women, particularly those with darker skin tones. The impacts on their self-esteem, earning power, academic lives, career paths, and marriage prospects are painful and can be permanent. “As a result, the internalization of racialized beauty standards can perpetuate into a lifelong, intergenerational culture of self-hatred,” explains Susan L. Bryant in the Columbia Social Work Review. This article is geared toward social work practitioners but makes important reading for anyone designing inclusive programs. It will also help explain why cultural movements like #BlackGirlMagic really are so vital.
Why Jane Austen appeals to white supremacists
Editors Ayesha Mattu & Nura Maznavi slice into to the popularity of Jane Austen among avowed white supremacists. This should surprise no one, they say. White supremacist thinking is an integral part of the way modern entertainment operates. “The truth is, the white power structure that created the conditions that brought Trump into power includes Hollywood, the Literary Establishment, the media, and academia, as well as the liberals and conservatives who were shaped by these institutions.” Important things get lost in translation. “Jane Austen …wrote candidly and bitingly about reputation and social standing; women’s issues related to sex, power, and wealth; and familial and marital relationships,” they say. By diluting Austen into light romantic fare, we miss the broader implications of her work and the impact on her fans. “At the heart of these adaptations — and their inability to capture the ways that Austen’s writings could easily reflect the lived reality of a diverse spectrum of modern Austen fans — lies a failure of the white imagination.”
A map that shows where it is illegal to be gay
There are some 75 countries in the world where same-sex relationships are punishable by fines, prison or death; even more where same-sex “propaganda” or discussion is banned. Today, some 40% of the world lives in places where the LGBT community faces state-sanctioned harassment, and some 400 million live in a place where LGBT people are subject to execution. More than 60 countries now legally protect LGBT people at work and 15 recognize same-sex marriage. (You can fill in Taiwan with a Sharpie if they haven’t gotten around to updating the map yet.)