Why diversity efforts might be the next COVID-19 casualty

By Bärí a. Williams6 minute ReadEveryone I know from my community, and most that I know from any marginalized community (people of color, women, LGBTQ, differently abled), has heard some form of the two adages, “Last hired, first fired,” and “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they…

By Bärí a. Williams6 minute ReadEveryone I know from my community, and most that I know from any marginalized community (people of color, women, LGBTQ, differently abled), has heard some form of the two adages, “Last hired, first fired,” and “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have.” In essence, be prepared to do more for less.Nowhere is this principle more glaringly blatant than in tech, and with the COVID-19 pandemic making furloughs and layoffs necessary, the Band-Aid over a bullet wound of diversity initiatives is laid bare.The numbers tell the tale. Already we have seen who seems to be bearing the brunt of this recession via pandemic, with women comprising approximately 55% of the 20.5 million jobs lost in April 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While there aren’t yet hard numbers on who has been impacted from recent tech layoffs at companies such as Airbnb, Uber, VSCO, and Lyft, one glance at the list of names published shows a large number of women and people of color. With representation in tech already so low, with black and brown people comprising about 9% of the employee base, collectively, with women making up about 35% of the employee base, and with women and POC making up the types of jobs—marketing, human resources, sales, and customer service—within tech companies that are often cut.In the broader workforce, black and Hispanic workers are more likely to work in lower-paid, consumer-facing service jobs that limit their ability to work remotely, according to Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute and the former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. As several 2019 McKinsey studies noted, women, black, and brown people tend to predominantly work in service roles, which are quickly being automated. Automation, AI, robotics, and job elimination were already tied, but the pandemic has exacerbated it, with companies finding they can derive the same productivity without the overhead.There is a big risk in losing the small gains we’ve made.For the last seven years, those with an eye on diversity in tech have watched every spring for tech companies to release their diversity numbers detailing how many employees in marginalized groups—people of color, LGBTQ, differently abled—make up the percentage of their workforce. For the last two years, several of these companies haven’t even bothered to release statistics, and it’s more of a long shot this year.In the middle of a pandemic, we have seen some companies that have long espoused their diversity efforts start to pull back or cut their efforts completely. Recently, Google has taken some heat for cutting its “Sojourn,” a comprehensive racial justice training program created for employees to learn about implicit bias and how to navigate conversations about
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What does Apple want from a VR events company?

Since 2009 a startup called NextVR has been developing proprietary cameras and striking deals to bring live events — think sporting events, wrestling matches and concerts — straight to the VR headset of your choice. It sounds like a potent cure for FOMO, and maybe it was for some people. The problem is, because of…

Since 2009 a startup called NextVR has been developing proprietary cameras and striking deals to bring live events — think sporting events, wrestling matches and concerts — straight to the VR headset of your choice. It sounds like a potent cure for FOMO, and maybe it was for some people. The problem is, because of relatively slow VR adoption and a dearth of viable revenue streams, NextVR never saw the kind of “hockey stick” growth its backers had hoped for. Those obstacles eventually loomed so large
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Glitch lays off ‘substantial number of employees’ to cut costs

Glitch laid off “a substantial number of employees” on Thursday in an effort to cut costs and ensure “long term viability,” the company confirmed in an email to The Verge. Glitch said it had to “significantly cut operating costs” due to market conditions. At least 18 people were laid off, according to two former employees…

Glitch laid off “a substantial number of employees” on Thursday in an effort to cut costs and ensure “long term viability,” the company confirmed in an email to The Verge. Glitch said it had to “significantly cut operating costs” due to market conditions.
At least 18 people were laid off, according to two former employees who asked to remain anonymous. Glitch had about 50 employees before the layoffs, the sources said. Glitch declined to comment on how many employees were laid off. The company said it is offering “severance, health insurance, and support in finding new employment” to employees who were laid off.
Glitch CEO Anil Dash tweeted that the layoffs came as a result of being a “small company in a fiercely competitive space in a tough economy.”

We had l
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IBM laying off thousands, seeking “flexibility” during COVID-19 crisis

plague year — If other companies close their doors, whom does an enterprise supplier supply? Kate Cox – May 22, 2020 7:27 pm UTC Enlarge / Unlike the illustrative man in this stock photo, employees at HPE, IBM, and other firms conducting layoffs at this time may not even be able to gather their effects…

plague year —

If other companies close their doors, whom does an enterprise supplier supply?

Kate Cox
– May 22, 2020 7:27 pm UTC

Enlarge / Unlike the illustrative man in this stock photo, employees at HPE, IBM, and other firms conducting layoffs at this time may not even be able to gather their effects from offices closed due to coronavirus. The COVID-19 crisis is hitting almost every market sector hard, and now the dominos are starting to fall. As other small, medium, and large businesses pare back operations or shutter for good, the tech firms that rely on enterprise clients are themselves taking heavy losses and laying off personnel.
Both Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and IBM this week announced significant cost-cutting measures, including pay cuts and significant job losses.
IBM announced its layoffs late Thursday. In a statement, the company said the “highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix high-value skills,” which in this case means deciding
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Daily Crunch: Facebook embraces remote work

Facebook takes more steps to support and expand a remote workforce, IBM announces layoffs and TechCrunch’s big annual conference is going virtual. (I know, I know — I have mixed feelings about it, too.) Here’s your Daily Crunch for May 22, 2020. 1. Facebook makes big remote work moves with plan for new hubs in…

Facebook takes more steps to support and expand a remote workforce, IBM announces layoffs and TechCrunch’s big annual conference is going virtual. (I know, I know — I have mixed feelings about it, too.)
Here’s your Daily Crunch for May 22, 2020.
1. Facebook makes big remote work moves with plan for new hubs in Dallas, Denver and Atlanta
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg estimated that over the course of the next decade, half of the company could be working fully remotely. As the next step toward that goal, Facebook will be setting up new company hubs in Denver, Dallas and Atlanta.
For Menlo Park employees looking for greener pastures, there’s one sizable catch. Starting on January 1 of next year, the company will localize all salaries, which means scaling compensation to the local cost of living.
2. IBM confirms layoffs are happening, but won’t provide details
IBM isn’t sharing details, but analyst Patric
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Shifting Gears: Air travel begins to tick up, cheap Corvettes, and more Uber layoffs

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IBM confirms layoffs are happening, but won’t provide details

IBM confirmed reports from overnight that it is conducting layoffs, but wouldn’t provide details related to location, departments or number of employees involved. The company framed it in terms of replacing people with more needed skills as it tries to regroup under new CEO Arvind Krishna. “IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility…

IBM confirmed reports from overnight that it is conducting layoffs, but wouldn’t provide details related to location, departments or number of employees involved. The company framed it in terms of replacing people with more needed skills as it tries to regroup under new CEO Arvind Krishna.
“IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix to high-value skills, and our workforce decisions are made in the long-term interests of our business,” an IBM spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, says he’s hearing the layoffs are hitting across the business. “I’m hearing it’s a balancing act between business units. IBM is moving as many resources as it can to the cloud. Essentially, you lay off some of the people without the ski
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Who Is Still Investing in Magic Leap in 2020?

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)Despite recently having to announce the lay off of 1,000 employees, it would now appear that Magic Leap has somehow pulled a $350 million miracle out of its ass. In a letter sent to employees—first obtained by Business Insider—Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz said the company had secured a new round of…

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)Despite recently having to announce the lay off of 1,000 employees, it would now appear that Magic Leap has somehow pulled a $350 million miracle out of its ass. In a letter sent to employees—first obtained by Business Insider—Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz said the company had secured a new round of investment to the tune of $350 million. As a result, Abovitz wrote the company was withdrawing the WARN notice—a 60-day written notice employers are legally required to provide before mass layoffs—sent to staffers in late April.But who exactly is ponying up this much cash for Magic Leap, a company that after years of secrecy and hype produced an utterly mediocre mixed reality headset? And how does it keep pulling absurd amounts of investment out of thin air? That’s not abundantly clear from Abovitz’s letter, which merely says this current round of funding came from “current major investors,” and “new investors.” Earli
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Magic Leap withdraws conditional layoff notices after raising $350 million

Augmented reality company Magic Leap has raised $350 million in funding from existing and new investors, according to The Information. The news comes a month after Magic Leap laid off a reported 1,000 employees to help it “adapt to new market realities.” In a memo sent out to staff, Magic Leap chief exec Rony Abovitz expl

Augmented reality company Magic Leap has raised $350 million in funding from existing and new investors, according to The Information.

The news comes a month after Magic Leap laid off a reported 1,000 employees to help it “adapt to new market realities.”

In a memo sent out to staff, Magic Leap chief exec Rony Abovitz expl
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AR company Magic Leap withdraws layoff notices after raising $350 million

Augmented reality company Magic Leap has raised $350 million in funding from existing and new investors, according to The Information. The news comes a month after Magic Leap laid off a reported 1,000 employees to help it “adapt to new market realities.” In a memo sent out to staff, Magic Leap chief exec Rony Abovitz expl

Augmented reality company Magic Leap has raised $350 million in funding from existing and new investors, according to The Information.

The news comes a month after Magic Leap laid off a reported 1,000 employees to help it “adapt to new market realities.”

In a memo sent out to staff, Magic Leap chief exec Rony Abovitz expl
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