Fortune data editor Stacy Jones is filling in for Ellen McGirt this week while she's away on vacation.
I almost said no when Ellen asked me to fill in on raceAhead. But a professor I interviewed last week changed my mind in a big way.
Dr. Kira Banks, a psychology professor, and I spoke by phone about some of the diversity numbers the Fortune data team collected from Fortune 500 companies. We were discussing the dog-eared and yellowing script that’s used to talk about workforce demographics, often shaming companies for failing to hire more people from marginalized groups.
“I think it's really important to not blast or denigrate companies with these numbers because most [of them] have these kinds of numbers. That doesn’t mean you don’t challenge them to do better” she said. “To get us to a point where we're getting better, we have to be willing to disaggregate data and commit to actually doing better.”
Give yourself a moment to digest her statement. (If hearing and seeing her in action would help, check out this YouTube clip from 2016.
Banks doesn’t suggest we stop asking companies to do better. And she’s not suggesting companies stop releasing their data. Transparency sends a powerful message that there’s a solid commitment to improvement and being held accountable.
To read the rest of my essay, head over to Fortune.
American Workers Complain Of Culture Clash With Chinese Owners At U.S. Manufacturing Plant
When people talk about shrinking U.S. manufacturing, they tend to describe companies that close their domestic facilities to move the operation to China. Why? Broadly speaking, there’s less oversight and lower labor costs. Now a Chinese company has opened a factory in Ohio to be closer to its customers, American automakers, and is dealing with a heated culture clash.
“The bigger you become, the smaller your world gets.”
When asked why she chose to write about her own struggle with food, body image, and self-acceptance, Roxane Gay told “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah last night that she didn’t want to write about it. “But as I was thinking of what I wanted my next nonfiction project to be, I wanted to tell the story of my body because when you’re fat in the world, people have assumptions about who you are and why you’re fat.” The interview is captivating.
Fire Uber Exec's Friend Argues Firing A “Brown” Employee Won’t Help The Company Increase Diversity
In an attempt to argue that his friend Emil Michael, former senior vice president for business, should not have been fired, Uber investor and Code.org founder Hadi Partovi said, “Firing a brown executive — one who had nothing to do with the issues in the engineering organization — isn’t going to help you become more diverse.” It was perhaps not the kind of ringing endorsement the ousted executive was looking for.
The Criminal Case Against Comedian Bill Cosby
The Pennsylvania jury deciding whether Bill Cosby should be charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which could mean up to 10 years in prison, entered its second day of deliberations today. This follows four hours of deliberation last night, after which the jury asked to review excerpts from a deposition the comedian and actor gave in a 2005 civil suit.