Do you love where you work?
You do if you work at Hilton. According to the latest 100 Best Companies to Work For list, created for Fortune by our partners at Great Place To Work, the 100-year-old company has done such an outstanding job meeting the needs of the 62,000+ workforce it’s moved up 33 spots since last year.
Hilton is a standout at supporting “line level” workers – like their diverse cleaning and kitchen staff – and has developed a variety of exceptional perks, like GED-completion support, leadership and other training, more comfortable uniforms, a better (and still free) cafeteria, and updated break rooms that mirror the level of spiff that customers enjoy.
Hilton’s rise is an interesting shift.
Salesforce was in the top spot last year – still going strong at number two – and Google was number one in 2017. (They opted out of the assessment process this year.) Perhaps it’s a sign that consumer-facing companies may be finding increasingly effective ways to link employee engagement with customer happiness. Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta says employee development is his obsession; when he took over in 2007, he found an organization that “had lost our way a bit,” he told Fortune. “We forgot that we are a business of people serving people, and the corporate environment got very disconnected from the front line.”
Something is working: The stock is up 274% from its IPO price in 2013, for those who keep track of those things.
The top ten are below, but take your time to explore the whole list. In fact, why don’t you put on your do-not-disturb, pour a cup of tea, and spend some time thinking about the next best version of your life? If not you, then who?
- Wegmans Food Market
- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
- Edward Jones
- Ultimate Software
- Texas Health Resources
- Boston Consulting Group
|A new Valentine’s Day ad campaign for a Greek chocolate company is causing a homophobic backlash|
|The campaign is from Lacta, a popular chocolate company, and shows 28 couples hugging and kissing. Some of them are same-sex. But the advertisement has turned into a major issue in conservative Greece, where the Orthodox Church forbids same-sex couples from marrying or adopting. Even the photographer for the campaign is being targeted. “People were tweeting pictures of my face, saying, ‘This is the photographer who did this,’” Chloe Kritharas Devienne told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Personally I love both men and women. I thought that nothing would make me happier than to have these pictures all over Athens so that all these homophobic people are forced to look at them.” Find an interview with the Lacta’s marketing manager here.|
|Silicon Valley’s latest attempt to hide its diversity numbers|
|Trade secrets. The excuse first used by Peter Thiel’s Palantir has now spread to other companies: That the detailed, government-mandated report which quantifies employees of color and women cannot be made public because they will give competitors a path to poach key talent. “This is almost like the extreme case of the business case for diversity,” Georgetown University’s Jamillah Bowman Williams tells Bloomberg’s Jordyn Holman. But the flip side is duplicity. “[C]ompanies can use this tactic to hide gender and race disparities and interfere with the advancement of civil rights law and workplace equity.”|
|How do you solve a problem like Ralph Northam?|
|The Virginia governor is still refusing to step aside, but he should, argues opinion writer Melanye Price, a political scientist who specializes in black politics and political opinion. But not because of a blackface incident in his past. His failure is more contemporary. “He should resign because in 2019 he seems unwilling to address how, or whether, his views on race have evolved,” she says. In this way, he has become a model for how anyone who is facing a similar situation should not behave. “He told us that he has black friends, which is a standard retort for most whites accused of racism. He hid away from the public, hoping that attention and emotions would dissipate,” she says. He also became obstinate. “This is how a person behaves when he does not understand the weight of American racial history, the role it continues to play or the racially divisive moment we are in.”|
|New York Times|
|A little-known race riot may be one of the most deadly in history|
|A raceAhead reader brought this little-known race riot to my attention, letting me know that “this event shaped my theology and politics before I was born.” The Elaine Riot (or Elaine Massacre) happened in 1919, in the Arkansas Delta. Sharecropping black farmers had been organizing themselves via two groups, the Progressive Farmers and the Household Union of America, to get fair payment for their cotton from the Jim Crow, white-dominated planter elite. When white men infiltrated one such meeting, a fight broke out, and an angry mob became a concerted effort to find and punish black organizers. A two-day battle ensued. Estimates of black deaths range from 20 to 856. An important video from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and narrated by Ossie Davis tells the story; part one is here, part two below.|
|Reminder: The racial wealth gap is not going to improve unless we do something|
|This 2017 report called The Asset Value of Whiteness: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap shatters traditional explanations for the lack of financial progress in African American and Latinx households as compared to white ones in the U.S. It is a chilling read, and a potent reminder that the persistent wealth gap between white and black and Latinx households is getting worse and all conventional wisdom is wrong. Not even a college education, a two-parent household, working more or spending less will bridge it. Employers and corporate funders, please lobby for change accordingly.|
|Please don’t miss this important episode of the Code Switch podcast|
|In which host Gene Demby, sigh, breaks down after all resolutions not to talk about it, sigh, and tackles the subject that will not die: Blackface. He goes dutifully through the current state of blackface fever, and the history of the form, while making the important point that blackface is so ingrained in the culture, that it’s often hiding in plain sight. (You’ll never look at Mickey Mouse the same way again.) Emblematic is the 1943 Warner Brothers cartoon, “Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs.” According to author and expert Nicholas Sammond, “…that’s just one of many, many cartoons where they kind of literalize what they think jazz culture and black culture is about in kind of the nastiest caricature turns in terms of facial morphology, in terms of intelligence, in terms of behavior,” he says. “It’s incredibly violent. It’s incredibly sexual. It’s incredibly crude.”|