Skip to Content

Google, Diversity and The Bottom Line

Happy Monday!

No essay today as I’m hard at work on a longer raceAhead assignment. But there is plenty of food for thought below and plenty of good stuff planned for tomorrow and later this week. – EMcG

On Point

Google links diversity to its bottom lineAfter becoming the first tech company to publish a diversity report in 2014, Google is following up with some tantalizing glimpses into how employees from underrepresented groups are shaping business units around the world. Inc Magazine spent some time with a few of Google’s team leads and managers as part of an effort to paint a broader picture of the business value of diversity within the company: As a catalyst for innovative product design and a better understanding of global market opportunities.Inc

Beauty products marketed to black women contain a disproportionately high number of harmful ingredients
A new investigation by The Environmental Working Group, a consumer advocacy group, found that out of 1,000 products marketed to black women, 1 in 12 contained “highly hazardous” ingredients. Less than 25% of products reviewed scored “low-risk” compared to 40% of products marketed to the general public. The most dangerous products were hair colorants and relaxers and skin bleach creams. The FDA doesn’t review beauty products, it’s up to manufacturers to comply with health standards.
Mother Jones

Dylann Roof is a case study in the development of white supremacist thinking
We have only begun to dig into the horror of Dylann Roof’s psyche, as the trial of the gunman who killed nine people at South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church moves forward. But as the Washington Post describes, Roof’s journal, which was introduced into evidence by prosecutors, is a chilling look at how a certain mind becomes violently radicalized by investigating race online. Roof’s conclusion: black people are “the biggest problem for Americans.”
Washington Post

Trump made gains with white voters from communities wracked with opioid disease
It is the grimmest of statistics, a deeper dive into the rust belt tale of lost jobs and economic security: Middle class white Americans without college degrees are facing a shortening of their life spans as compared with other demographic groups. Trump was unexpectedly successful in communities who are experiencing inordinately high incidences of drug overdoses and deaths, suicides, liver disease and alcohol-related illnesses.
The Nation

Twitter restores the accounts of several white supremacists; some are now verified
Several accounts belonging to white nationalists and supremacist groups were suspended last November; many have now been reinstated and have continued tweeting bigoted remarks and promising to organize their followers. Richard Spencer, who has been described as a “leader of the alt-right” in several fairly tame media profiles, has had his account both restored and verified.
MediaMatters

When a “more diverse faculty” actually means “white”
A debate has been bubbling in the pages of The Cornell Sun, the independent, daily student-run newspaper for Cornell University and surrounding community. Conservative students have been demanding more “intellectual diversity” in the teaching ranks. In response, a senior named Christian Brickhouse has written an op-ed saying that the complaints are veiled attempts to add more white voices to a faculty that’s already 76% white. “If these conservative students actually cared about diversity of thought, they would be pushing for more faculty of color, more faculty with disabilities, more female and gender non-conforming faculty.”
Cornell Sun

Your remote teams need face time to succeed
Part of it is basic brain wiring, says Eric J. McNulty, the director of research at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, citing research that describes real human interaction as a key to developing trust and rapport. It’s also an important component of helping culturally diverse teams learn to read social cues correctly. “The multiplicity of cultural and linguistic challenges are more easily navigated when people work side-by-side to solve problems as well as share a meal, learn a bit about colleagues’ backgrounds, and swap stories,” he writes.
Strategy blog

The Woke Leader

John Glenn, a hero in space and on terra firma
Many of the obituaries celebrating the life of John Glenn who died last week at age 95, glossed over his role as a civil rights ally. As a senator, Glenn demanded that the Congress follow its own discrimination guidelines. In 1978, he publicly labeled Congress the “Last Plantation,” to highlight how the legislative branch was exempt from federal workplace laws, making it one of the last places where racial discrimination was allowed. He never let up. “[I]t is like a doctor prescribing medicine for a patient that he himself would not take,” he testified in 1989.
The Hill

The man who helped pave the way for Loving – the couple and the movie – is still practicing law, still a badass
It’s been a lifetime of work for Philip Hirschkop, 80, the lawyer who devised the legal strategy for Loving v. Virginia. The still-practicing attorney looks back on a career in civil rights activism – he’s represented everyone from farm workers to Dick Gregory to PETA – that was elevated by the love affair of Mildred and Richard Loving. “It would have been much harder as a black man and white woman,” Hirschkop recalls. “They might have been hanged for that.” He’s still hard at work.
Charlotte Observer

The klan member on your shelf
Racist objects and memorabilia –  like cookie jars, antique books, dishes and lawn ornaments -have long been of interest to collectors, who have embraced the complexity of the objects in the context of an uneasy history around race. But these items, many of which remain with the descendants of people who first enjoyed them as household objects, not artifacts, still have the power to disturb. The New York Times has assembled an astonishing array of  images from collectors, sellers, and owners around the country.
New York Times

Quote

I truly believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. And, I just recently embraced that at 51.
—Viola Davis