On culture and diversity in corporate America.

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February 21, 2020

Citigroup impresses Congress with its diversity plan, how Google’s employee revolt fell short, and Florida is one step closer to restoring voting rights for the formerly incarcerated.


But first, here’s your week in review in Haiku.


Reparations for
Jalaiah, a Renegade
hip-hop solution


Stopped-and-frisked minding
his own big business, since he 
met the description


A POTUS pal and
showman gets jail time
was the judge’s decision


Blagojevich will
stay sprung if he can handle
court supervision


A system rigged and
ready to fail. Will we
find absolution?


Have an absolutely fantastic weekend.


Ellen McGirt
@ellmcgirt
Ellen.McGirt@fortune.com


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On Point


Citigroup one of the few bright spots in a banking industry diversity report The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services released a report this month analyzing the diversity data and policies of 44 financial institutions with $50 billion or more in assets. Diversity and Inclusion: Holding America’s Large Banks Accountable breaks down the lack of diversity in the financial services industry, in the workforce, at the board level and supplier networks:


 Overall, Black and Latinx talent comprise 4% or less of banks' executive and senior level employees and 6% or less of first and mid-level leadership employees,


 and women made up only about 29% of their executive and senior-level workforce.


 Among the few outliers in the report is Citigroup, which is using a Rooney Rule-like strategy to meet a goal of having 40% of assistant vice president and above roles filled by women by the end of 2021.


HR Dive


The end of the great Google revolt Last November, Google fired four employees who had been persistent activists for change within the search giant. One is transgender and was undergoing a medical transition. The four had been part of a vocal group who had been lobbying for the company for changes; to address a “tech-bro” culture, but also asking tough questions about the kinds of impact Google projects were having in the world —  like a contract with the U.S. Defense Department to improve a drone warfare program. While they wanted to save the world from Google, “[t]hey were also organizing to save themselves from Google, where those who didn’t fit the mold of the straight, white, male techie felt they could be too easily marginalized or dismissed,” says Noam Scheiber and Kate Conger in this must-read look at a culture in turmoil.
New York Times Magazine


Oklahoma tribes feud with the state’s Cherokee governor Nearly all of Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations are united against Governor Kevin Stitt, who promised during his campaign that his association with Cherokee Nation would help him better understand and advocate for Native issues. Instead, one of his first acts was to threaten to hike the fees the tribes pay to run their profitable casinos, prompting an immediate outcry. Tribal nations are a product of genocide and forced relocation, and the perceived betrayal has surfaced longstanding and painful issues. “I don’t think he can spell sovereignty,” says John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Nation. Now, Cherokee Nation is collecting signatures for a petition to remove Stitt’s citizenship.
New York Times and High Country News 


A step closer to voting rights for certain Florida ex-felons A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found that a legislative measure requiring ex-felons to pay all of their “legal financial obligations,” like court fines and fees before they could resume voting, violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Florida’s S.B. 7066 was passed in response to a measure approved by Florida voters in 2018 that restored voting rights to some 1.4 million former felons. While the governor has vowed to appeal the decision, the ruling sent a ripple of hope to voting-rights activists in other states.
Washington Post


On Background


Forgetting the hunger In this poignant essay, Paul Nezaum Saiedi reflects on his fraught journey to gastric sleeve surgery, and how his changed relationship with food also changed his relationship with himself. By the time we meet him post-surgery, he is in a mood to reflect on “[a] messy and pleasurable affair between the curves of what my mother referred to as my ‘husky’ body growing up, the bliss of consumption, and the emotional residue (both joyous and vile) of being a fat queer.” Forgetting food, which was impossible to eat after surgery, became an exercise in accepting the person who longed for comfort in a body that never quite fit. “Forgetting food ushered an introduction to a clear version of myself, one undone, naked, and at peace.”
Colorbloq


On the trailblazing feminism of Ja’Net DuBois Watching Good Times in the 1970s, I was left with the vague notion that if I grew up to be some version of Willona Woods, the outspoken, independent and funny neighbor who lit up a room like a supernova, I would have turned out alright. She was the type of Black character I hadn’t seen before and she seemed like a good option. “My job as Willona was to make it right, fast and funny,” DuBois once said in an interview. “It was a wonderful thing that happened. It changed the scene for the type of black woman being shown. The wigs, the hats, my everything was a dream come true.” DuBois died recently at 74 (or maybe older), but she left Black folk with an enduring, aspirational anthem: She co-wrote “Moving on Up,” the theme song for the hit show The Jeffersons.
The Undefeated


How to “replace” your manager If you’ve got a manager who won’t give you constructive feedback, help you map out a career plan, or even help you deal with thorny workplace issues, then manager coach Lara Hogan suggests you replace them with a volunteer or two or five. A diverse crew of manager-peers from across your organization can be valuable replacements for the coaching that your official (and perhaps overloaded) manager may be unable to provide. She has practical advice on how to assemble your squad, and how to structure your interactions. Look to fill in your own leadership blanks by recruiting people who “will push you out of your comfort zone; have different levels of experience than you; have experience in a different industry; are good at the things that you’re terrible at,” she says.
Lara Hogan blog


Tamara El-Waylly produces raceAhead and manages the op-ed program.


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Quote


"I want to point out first that I am very happy to be here this evening and I'm thankful [to the Afro-American Broadcasting Company] for the invitation to come here to Detroit this evening. I was in a house last night that was bombed, my own. It didn't destroy all my clothes, not all, but you know what happens when fire dashes through -- they get smoky. The only thing I could get my hands on before leaving was what I have on now. It isn't something that made me lose confidence in what I am doing, because my wife understands and I have children from this size on down, and even in their young age they understand. I think they would rather have a father or brother or whatever the situation may be who will take a stand in the face of any kind of reaction from narrow-minded people rather than to compromise and later on have to grow up in shame and in disgrace. So I just ask you to excuse my appearance. I don't normally come out in front of people without a shirt and a tie.”

—From  Malcolm X’s last speech, February 14, 1965. He was murdered on February 21, 1965.


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