You can often tell much about how seriously a company regards a new strategy or initiative by whether or not someone’s compensation is tied to its success.
That’s why my ears perked up last week when Erica Lockheimer, Linked’s director of engineering growth and women in tech, somewhat casually mentioned that 20% of her salary and bonus is tied to the social media company’s overall diversity goals.
Given her title, that’s not really surprising. But Lockheimer isn’t the only one being subjected to this accountability. She tells me that several of her management peers have agreed to similar compensation, while at least another 50 employees have dedicated 5% of their time—and an equal portion of their overall annual pay—toward the diversity cause at LinkedIn.
“They gave us money and the metrics to measure things,” Lockheimer said during an interview at the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The conference hosted approximately 12,000 attendees, 4,000 people more than showed up the previous year.
While Lockheimer is cagey about disclosing specific goals, one is centered on thwarting “unconscious bias.” Part of that will come through training; specifically for the company’s research and development group. It’s also related to documented “acts of inclusion,” basically ensuring that every person associated with a strategic discussion or project plan is solicited for their opinion regardless of gender or race.
According to data compiled by Fortune last summer, LinkedIn is among the most gender-diverse of high-profile technology companies that disclose this sort of information—61.9% of its roughly 9,000 employees are male versus 38.1% female. It also does relatively well when it comes to ethnic mix. At the end of 2014, almost half of LinkedIn’s employees were non-white.
What strikes me most about LinkedIn’s policy is that the compensation incentives aren’t just applied to those in human resources roles or who have “diversity” in their job descriptions. Although, that itself, is also an indicator of which companies are putting money toward changing things.
Among the tech giants that officially employ someone with that title are Intel with Roz Hudnell, who requires managers to report on the diversity of their teams; Facebook which created Maxine Williams’ role two years ago; Cisco, which added Shari Slate’s role as vice president, chief inclusion and collaboration officer, last October; and Google, which has assigned Nancy Lee as head of diversity strategy and dedicated more than $200 million toward initiatives in the past two years. Apple’s HR chief, Denise Young Smith, was hired specifically to focus on improving diversity although she doesn’t technically have the term in her title.
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TOP OF MIND
IBM, SAP stand by cloud conversion plans. The giant company hasn’t reported a revenue increase for more than 14 straight quarters. Still, executives declare its transition strategy is sound. They claim its businesses in analytics, cloud and mobile computing grew 17% year-over-year in the third quarter, but we don’t really know because it doesn’t break out those numbers. Relatively speaking, SAP’s transition is going much better. There are now more than 1,300 companies running the latest edition of Hana, its flagship database platform. (Fortune, BloombergBusiness)
Starting next year, Intel could be inside some iPhones. It looks like the chipmaker will provide wireless modem technology for a special edition intended for emerging markets in Asia and Latin America, according to a story citing sources familiar with the plan. (VentureBeat)
Speaking of Intel, the company just dramatically improved its fertility benefits. Starting next year, it will pay up to $40,000 for treatments—quadruple the previous amount. (Fortune)
Google takes minority stake in Chinese artificial intelligence company. The move is part of a $60 million investment. The company, Mobvoi, is already the Internet giant’s wearables partner in China. (TechCrunch)
And then there was one. Merger talks between SanDisk and Western Digital could culminate in a deal between the two storage companies this week. It looks like another potential suitor, Micron, has dropped out the running, at least for now. (BloombergBusiness)
Technically speaking, Satya Nadella made less money last year. But that’s only because of the $59.2 million stock grant he received when he was promoted to CEO. He still made $18.3 million during Microsoft’s 2015 fiscal year. By the way, the software giant wants to add two women to its board: former Cisco chief technical officer Padmasree Warrior and Johnson & Johnson group world chairman Sandra Peterson. (Wall Street Journal)
Looks like the CIA chief, Homeland Security boss are breach victims. A hacker claims he stole personal email account information for “more than a dozen” top officials. It looks like he tricked Internet service providers into resetting their passwords to gain access. (Fortune)
Only 14% of this year’s initial public offerings have been for tech companies. That’s the lowest number since the mid-1990’s, raising new doubts over whether high-flying unicorns like Dropbox and Zenefits can justify their valuations on the public market. (Journal)
In the battle of Amazon vs. the New York Times, who wins? You do
In the not-so-distant past, if the New York Times published a scathing exposé of a company like Amazon, the aggrieved party would have little recourse, apart from writing a strongly worded letter to the editor, or issuing a press release that few people would ever read. But today’s media landscape is a far more level playing field, and Amazon has taken full advantage of that to fire a rifle shot at the Times.
BITS AND BYTES
More than 15 million people are using Apple Music. Only 6.5 million are paying subscribers, with the rest still enjoying free trials. (Fortune)
Google offers free trials of business apps to rivals’ customers. The offer lasts as long as a company’s existing corporate license arrangement. (Fortune)
Lenovo’s latest Windows 10 tablet could double as a coffee table. It’s designed more for play than work. (PCWorld)
One of Japan’s enterprise software companies is giving the U.S. market a try. Work Applications’ technology combines spreadsheets and email with analytics features. (TechCrunch)
Uber breach lawsuit dismissed. A judge in San Francisco didn’t buy the argument that the ride-sharing company was negligent about protect drivers’ personal information. (Reuters)
Soon, you’ll need to declare ownership for your personal drone. As anticipated, the FAA will start charging unspecified fines for hobbyists who fail to register. (Fortune)
MORE FORTUNE BOOKMARKS
Flipboard goes after Facebook with targeted ad feature by Mathew Ingram
These 5 employers are rescuing the 40-hour workweek by Erik Sherman
Apple’s HomeKit is not the home automation solution you’re looking for … yet
by Stacey Higginbotham
ONE MORE THING
Internet-age hieroglyphics. This organization officially decides what emojis will be added to your smartphone keyboard. Coming soon, an eye-roll depiction. (Times)