I finally found a moment to read Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s thoughtful Wall Street Journal essay this week, analyzing her LeanIn organization’s extensive new study about the role of women in Corporate America. The not-so-surprising conclusion: women still see a “workplace tilted against them.” It isn’t just the family thing. It is routinely more stressful for females to earn the right to become leaders. (You can find all the data on LeanIn.org.)
Little wonder that tech companies are thinking about this issue far earlier in their lifecycle, as a counter to the “brogrammer” culture. One shining example is Slack Technologies. The business collaboration upstart surprised many a few weeks back when it issued its first report on diversity. The rationale: get them while they’re young. Joelle Emerson, the consultant working with Slack, told the Journal: “Once a company is very large, it’s a hard ship to turn. There are lots of embedded norms and processes that are hard to change.”
The best way to shape any habit, of course, is in childhood. The optimist in me believes that all these conversations about diversity will become more muted as the sons of today enter the workforce and look for ways to honor their mothers.
Speaking of women and technology careers, I’m excited to say that I’ll be traveling to Houston soon for the annual Grace Hopper Conference. I’m told that the anticipated attendance will be double that of the 2014 event. Sandberg and the U.S. chief technology officer, Megan Smith, are among the featured speakers. Is your company going? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
TOP OF MIND
End in sight for Twitter CEO search? Re/code suggests that the social network is ready to remove the “interim” from Jack Dorsey’s title, but the board apparently isn’t set to confirm that rumor quite yet. The fact what no one seems to remember why he was fired in the first place indicates just how much he has matured as a leader. A comeback would be reminiscent of Steve Jobs.
Google and Microsoft bury the hatchet, at least when it comes to suing each other over patents. (Fortune)
Judge postpones Uber trial in Paris. Two executives face criminal trial over UberPop, the company’s low-fare service. The delay is seen as positive for the defense. Some of the more serious charges center on improper handling and inadequate protection of personal data. (New York Times)
The corporate world needs more software developers to accelerate digital business. Coding school General Assembly, which just nabbed another $70 million in funding, seeks students with industry knowledge. (Journal)
In exactly one month, HP will split into two separate but not equal companies. Don’t underestimate its ongoing ambitions for two seemingly mundane businesses: personal computers and printers. “Creating a future HP is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a new beginning for one of the largest tech companies in the world,” said soon-to-be CEO Dion Weisler. (Fortune)
Say farewell to the “content and commerce” fad. Remember when eBay employed an editorial director? The idea was to build closer consumer relationships through trusted coverage of the latest trends and products. Now, most of the media companies that waded into the low-margin e-commerce business have walked away. And vice versa. (Fortune)
So what’s the latest e-commerce rage? Including “buy buttons” to social networks, a practice that has been taken up by Facebook, Pinterest and a growing number of other players. Twitter just added a bunch more. (Fortune)
Chinese company buys stake in troubled Western Digital. Government-based Tsinghua Holdings will wind up with 15% ownership along with a board seat. The storage hardware company was been rocked by the transition to solid-state drives. (Reuters)
These former Facebook execs want to restore balance to your workplace
Does your team spend 90% of its time requesting status updates, chasing deadlines, or trying to remember exactly who’s responsible for what—leaving just 10% of the workday for actual work?
Asana, the collaboration software company co-created in 2008 by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and well-respected engineer Justin Rosenstein, would like to restore a healthier balance. Its self-serving prescription: Spend less time organizing projects in email and more time using its newly redesigned Web software to manage work tasks.
BITS AND BYTES
Our correspondent took a ride in Google’s self-driving car, and was shocked to find herself bored. (Fortune)
Satya Nadella will get a smaller bonus this year. Looks like someone missed their numbers. (Computerworld)
Comcast’s latest Internet pricing experiment. Charge by the gigabyte, just like wireless plans. (Fortune)
Organizational software unicorn Evernote cuts 13% of staff, as it exits Taiwan, Singapore, and Moscow. (Journal)
Have you noticed that Google is buying fewer startups? Two words: Financial discipline. (Fortune)
More credibility for wireless charging startup Ubeam, in the form of two high-level executive hires and new funding. (Fortune)
MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS
Should we trust Apple to give us the news? by Mathew Ingram
Why Cisco’s John Chambers is so gung-ho on partnerships by Jonathan Vanian
Selfies are dangerous, stupid and getting banned by Christopher Elliott
How tech is making African transit more Uber-like by David Z. Morris
ONE MORE THING
Member of the lonely hearts club? Your smartphone may be hurting your love life. (Fortune)