October 7, 2016

This week in the workplace: bias and more

The first presidential debate was a wild ride. And yet,

“one stunning bright spot emerged: for the first time in history, a major party candidate publicly addressed implicit bias.”

-Unitive CEO, Laura Mather

Secretary Clinton openly acknowledged that “implicit bias is a problem for everyone.” This, in front of a record-setting audience of more than 83 million viewers. Silicon Valley is no exception. This week the US Department of Labor sued Palantir Technologies. The DoL claims Palantir routinely discriminates against Asian job candidates. It’s an unusual suit, in that company reports and industry studies show that Asians are overrepresented in the tech industry. This points to a deeper issue. Representation doesn’t equal diversity.

Other minority groups feel this as well. Women are more than twice as likely as men to quit the tech industry. This is because they lack advancement opportunities. Surveys show women are “treated unfairly; underpaid, less likely to be fast-tracked than their male colleagues, and unable to advance.”

Not surprisingly, women in the corporate landscape are still underrepresented at every level as well. McKinsey & Company’s most recent report on gender equality in the workplace found that: “Women don’t get promoted as often as men. They negotiate for raises as often as their male counterparts, but are more likely to be called aggressive or bossy for doing so.”

But it’s not all bad news…

Luckily, Melinda Gates has a new mission: Women In Tech. Philanthropy’s first lady returns to her roots to tackle gender inequality in computer science. She’s building up a personal office to dedicate resources and attention to getting more women into tech — and helping them stay there.