Brehanna Daniels and Breanna O’Leary have a lot in common.
They are both former collegiate athletes, Daniels a point guard on the Norfolk State women’s basketball team, and O’Leary an outfielder on the Alcorn State softball team. They were both recruited by NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program which targets former college athletes. They both excelled in the tryout and the combine despite going up against mostly men. They are now both tire changers on the pit crew for the #52 Ford in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series, and they both have lofty goals that they hope to accomplish in the sport.
According to Dion Williams who runs the Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Program, “Our idea is to expose the gospel of NASCAR to as many student-athletes as possible”. And it seems to be working. (read more)
Today, IPO-bound Lyft is announcing Monica Poindexter, formerly Facebook’s global head of diversity business partners, has joined the company to lead the transportation company’s inclusion and diversity efforts. The company has employed a head of diversity and inclusion before, but this time, the person in this role has a more holistic mission.
“I’m in a unique role and have an opportunity to help the organization look at diversity more holistically and look at it through the lens of talent, workforce and marketplace,” Poindexter told TechCrunch. “I’m taking the time to understand the processes internally and identify areas where we can intentionally embed inclusion and diversity into our processes.”
While Poindexter will report to Lyft VP of Talent and Inclusion Nilka Thomas, what ultimately led Poindexter to take the job at Lyft was her sense of commitment from Lyft’s co-founders, John Zimmer and Logan Green. (read more)
Sixty-four percent of diverse writers working in television today have experienced bias, discrimination or harassment, including seeing their pitches rejected only for a non-diverse writer to pitch the same idea and get accepted, a new report finds.
In addition to the 64% of diverse writers that experienced bias, discrimination and/or harassment, 58% said they experienced microaggressions in the room. Fifty-eight percent also reported that they experienced pushback when pitching a non-stereotypically diverse character or diverse storyline, and 53% reported rejection upon pitching a specific idea but when a non-diverse writer pitched the same idea later, it was accepted from that writer. (read more)
Recruitment efforts at top tech firms have traditionally targeted students at elite colleges and Ivy League universities, leading to a predominantly white, male workforce. Because of that, companies have missed out on top talent from the 101 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which produce a growing number of science and tech professionals.
Unusual Ventures, a seed-stage investment firm, aims to change this with its new Unusual Interns program. Launching this summer, the program is designed to increase the number of black students working in technical internships by connecting students from HBCUs with high-growth Silicon Valley startups. (read more)
Beyoncé and Jay Z will receive the Vanguard Award for being allies to the LGBTQ community at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Per a statement, GLAAD’s Vanguard Award is presented to people who “have made a significant difference promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people.” It continued, “Beyoncé and Jay Z are longtime allies and supporters of the LGBTQ community who use their global platforms to share messages that inspire and change the world for the better.”
GLAAD noted the work that both Jay Z and Beyoncé have done throughout their careers on behalf of the LGBTQ community. Beyoncé, for instance, notably spoke out against North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ “Bathroom Bill” in 2016, while she also posted a message in support of LGBTQ students after President Donald Trump withdrew Obama-era protections for transgender students in 2017. (read more)
Why does lack of diversity in tech persist? A House committee exploring the issue — and its effects on the tech products and services we’ve all grown to rely on — heard one possible reason early on during its hearing Wednesday.
U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-California, recounted an anecdote from a female computer engineer who told him she overheard one of her co-workers say “women and people of color dilute the talent pool at tech companies.”
“We have a problem in the tech industry… where diversity is seen as a hindrance, which nothing could be further from the truth,” Cardenas said during the beginning of a hearing by the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which was live-streamed from Washington, D.C. (read more)
LIVING AND WORKING in Silicon Valley, especially in tech, as an LGBTQIA+ woman or person of color can be lonely. Even as the industry works to expand its ranks, the statistics on diversity in tech are staggeringly bad. But one place queer women and nonbinary folks can go to feel less alone? The Lesbians Who Tech conference. (read more)