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Black Enterprise Founder and Publisher Earl G. Graves, Sr., the quintessential entrepreneur who created a vehicle of information and advocacy that has inspired four generations of African Americans to build wealth through entrepreneurship, career advancement and money management, has died. According to his son, Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., he passed away quietly at 9:22 p.m. on April 6, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Graves was 85.

Graves was widely considered to be the ultimate champion of black business, launching Black Enterprise in 1970 to not only chronicle the rise of African American entrepreneurs, but also provide the tools for African Americans to succeed in the business mainstream and  “achieve their measure of the American dream.”

In his award-winning, now classic, business bestseller, How To Succeed In Business Without Being White, Graves stated his life-defining purpose for founding Black Enterprise in simple, direct terms: “The time was ripe for a magazine devoted to economic development in the African American community. The publication was committed to the task of educating, inspiring and uplifting its readers. My goal was to show them how to thrive professionally, economically and as proactive, empowered citizens.”

Driven by that mission, Graves became a trailblazing entrepreneur in his own right, building Black Enterprise from a single-magazine publishing company 50 years ago, to a diversified multimedia business spreading the message of financial empowerment to more than 6 million African Americans through print, digital, broadcast and live-event platforms.  As such, Black Enterprise was one of two companies that would appear on the BE 100s—the publication’s annual rankings of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—each of its 47 years. At one point, Graves would operate two companies on the list, including Pepsi-Cola of Washington, DC, one of the nation’s largest soft-drink distributors owned by African Americans.

Graves’ influence and reach also extended into the mainstream of corporate America. One of the few African Americans to serve on the boards of major corporations such as American Airlines, Daimler Chrysler, Rohm & Hass and Federated Department Stores (Macy’s), he was a staunch advocate for African American inclusion in the C-Suite and corporate governance. Graves was also a tireless champion of major corporations doing business with black-owned companies.

Beyond business, Graves was a force in politics, civil rights and philanthropy. In fact, he played a pivotal role in galvanizing support for the election of the first African American president of the United States, Barack Obama, through his endorsement in Black Enterprise and service as a surrogate campaigning on his behalf. Before that, Graves also championed the historic presidential bids of Rev. Jesse Jackson. Moreover, his fight for racial justice and economic parity earned him the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the organization’s highest honor, in 1999.

Graves was also known for his dedication to family, and especially to his wife Barbara Kydd Graves, who passed away in 2012. Together, they raised three sons, Earl Jr., Johnny and Michael, and were blessed with eight grandchildren.

Born in 1935, Graves reaches the pinnacle of power from humble beginnings in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. It was in that community where he learned the lessons of hard work and perseverance from his parents, Earl Godwin and Winifred Sealy Graves. After graduating from a Morgan State University with a B.A. in economics, he served two years as an officer in the Army, and held jobs in law enforcement and real estate. In 1965, he joined the staff of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy as his administrative assistant. When Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, he decided to start a publication that would provide blacks with the pathway to go into entrepreneurship.

He wrote: “Black Enterprise was just a modest magazine when I founded it—just me, a few brave advertisers like Pepsi, ExxonMobil  and General Motors; and a small but spirited staff. And one other person who did just about everything there is to do to put out a magazine—my wife, Barbara.”

The young publisher managed to gain a $250,000 loan from Chase Manhattan Bank and proved so masterful at selling and running the magazine that it became profitable in 10 months — enabling Graves to repay the loan to the major financial institution.

With his wife Barbara at his side, he grew the magazine into one of the nation’s most successful and respected. The world first discovered such business luminaries as Oprah Winfrey, former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, billionaire dealmaker Bob Johnson and the late financier Reginald F.  Lewis on the pages of Black Enterprise. In fact, Robert Smith. the billionaire CEO of Vista Equity Partners, like so many successful black entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, admitted that he switched careers to high finance after reading Black Enterprise.

“The truth of the matter is that we are humbled by the achievements of the talented people we report on,” Graves wrote. “We are in awe, still, by the courage it takes to put oneself on the line in an unmerciful marketplace.”

Hundreds of thousands express awe and gratitude for the role he played and example of excellence and achievement he set for generations to come.

18 Champions of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Younger Generation They’re Mentoring

Adweek and Adcolor celebrate this year’s honorees, who span the industry, from Google and LinkedIn to WPP and Target

Marketing both reflects and perpetuates how people think about each other and the world around them—which is why it’s so important that the people shaping those messages are truly representative of the audiences they serve. For the second year running, we’re proud to have teamed up with Adcolor members and the group’s founder and president, Tiffany R. Warren, who is the svp, chief diversity officer of Omnicom Group, to spotlight 18 executives who are carrying the torch for diversity and inclusion—and meaningfully mentoring others along the way.

Daisy Auger-Dominguez

Founder and CEO, Auger-Dominguez Ventures


Auger-Dominguez cited the late professor Walter Stafford as one of her first mentors who, at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, helped her understand the intersection of race, class and gender in society and who she worked with to research the social stratification of jobs.

“Frankly, it wasn’t until I got to the workplace that it truly hit me what that meant in these corporate places of privilege, culture and access,” she says.

After 20 years in that corporate world, she founded the consultancy Auger-Dominguez Ventures in 2019 and is now focused full-time on designing inclusive, equitable workplaces and human-capital strategies for startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.

“For me, the entry point to this work was similar for a lot of women and people of color—it was the experience of feeling [and] seeing other women and people of color marginalized, erased and cast aside, not because of their ability, but because of circumstance,” she says. “And I knew early on I wanted to change that.”

Now Auger-Dominguez is writing a book about how to dismantle existing processes and policies that have kept so many people from achieving their potential. But she says she’s proudest of the women she mentors, including Joy Peña, whom she hired in 2013 to manage diversity and inclusion for Disney ABC Television. After Auger-Dominguez left for Google in 2015, she tried to hire Peña again, but she was working at Electronic Arts by then. (Peña returned to Disney as director of global diversity and inclusion at ESPN in 2018.)

“We worked together for about three years, and during that time I received incredible opportunities and earned a promotion under her leadership,” Peña says. “Essentially, however, I gained a mentor and friend whose coaching, support and inspiration went far beyond our years of formally working together.”

Auger-Dominguez also mentors a young Latinx colleague at Google who recently posted on LinkedIn about how Auger-Dominguez represented the first time she saw herself reflected in an executive.

“She wrote … about what it meant to her, after years of feeling she needed to diminish who she was,” Auger-Dominguez says. “To me, those are the stories that remind me representation matters and that … beyond representation, it’s not just being one of the executives, but engaging with people in the organization.” —Lisa Lacy

Joy Peña
Director, global diversity and inclusion, ESPN

Working alongside Auger-Dominguez, Peña says she learned how to show up with conviction, confidence, authenticity and empathy. “I learned that being a D&I leader often means speaking up during difficult, sensitive, unpopular and certainly complex times with truth and empathy, particularly as a voice for fairness and an advocate for others. I never saw her miss a moment to do so—both for the good of people and forward movement of our business, ultimately impacting people,” says Peña. “That level of courage and commitment continues to inspire how I show up in my work, in society and relationships overall.” (cont)

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion During Uncertain Times

As inclusion strategist Vernã Myers says, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” But what if it’s a virtual dance party, where you’re unsure who to invite, how to send the invitations, who can DJ or what online platform would work the best? That is the situation many of us are finding ourselves in these days. We are in uncharted waters trying to float without knowing how to use the life vests.

Having diversity among races, genders, generations, ethnicities and thought within an organization is one thing. But including employees with these experiences in the conversation can help leaders and organizations find the answers to these questions during trying times. If you’re still not convinced, check out these statistics: 

  • Racial and ethnically diverse companies are 35 percent more likely and gender diverse teams are 5 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
  • Companies with above-average diversity had 19 percent higher innovation revenues.
  • Companies with the most ethnically and culturally diverse boards worldwide are 43 percent more likely to experience higher profits.
  • Diverse teams (of three or more people) outperform individual decision-makers up to 87 percent of the time.

Making the conscious effort as a leader to make diversity and inclusion a priority during uncertain times is not easy, but here are some ways to get started.

Related: Why Diversity In the Workforce Is Imperative

Create partnerships.

Reverse mentoring is a great way to create partnerships between older and younger employees. This mutually beneficial partnership provides the space for employees to learn and grow from one another.  A baby boomer employee might be able to include a millennial employee on a virtual meeting that they would otherwise not be invited to, while a millennial employee can provide assistance with using a new virtual platform. These conversations help to create new ideas, narrow the learning curve and build relationships among employees of varying generations.

Be conscious of representative leadership.

It’s even more important than usual to be aware of who is being represented during meetings, conference calls and conversations about “what’s next.”  Make a conscious effort to recognize who thinks, acts and experiences life differently from you and give them a seat at the virtual table. Think about:

  • What departments are being represented, and who else should be included?
  • Do we have individuals of diverse races, ethnicities and genders in our conversation, or does everyone have a similar background?
  • Are employees of various levels and experiences invited to share their thoughts?
  • Do we have people who challenge the status quo and think outside the box who can provide ideas and suggestions?

Related: Want to Improve Your Company’s Diversity? Go Remote.

Keep employee resource groups alive. 

Employee resource groups (ERG) are made up of employees who have shared life experiences or interests. Their goal is to provide support, education and ongoing professional development for this population and educate employees across the organization. During the switch to virtual work, many of these groups will likely not be considered a priority in workload and might be put on hold or have events postponed.  

Putting these conversations on hold is doing a disservice to employees who were already looking for a community of people with similar experiences. Advocating for the continuation of these groups virtually and hosting and supporting these events is essential to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of the organization. When we shift back into “usual” practices, employees want to know that this is a still priority and can be part of their professional development plans.

Call attention to your hiring practices.

If your organization is hiring, be aware of the decisions you’re making. When things are uncertain, we tend to gravitate toward the familiar for safety and assurance. This goes against the principles of diversity and inclusion and requires a conscious effort to not just hire people who think, act, and experience life like you. Look for people who will challenge you, help your organization grow and will be an asset to the team. This may involve bringing in people from employee resources groups and other departments to help make the best decision.

Related: How to Commit and Turn ‘Diversity’ into ‘Inclusion’

Limit assumptions.

Don’t assume that you know what employees are thinking, what they’re going through or what they need to perform their work.  People are coming from various socioeconomic classes, life experiences, caregiving responsibilities and much more. Even though everyone is in a shared situation, it doesn’t mean we all need the same support at this time. Ask questions:

  • What do you need from me at this time?
  • What additional resources do you need to perform your job?
  • What is working well?
  • What can be improved upon to enhance the efficiency of our team?

You can do this through one-on-one conversations or even an anonymous survey. The situation is constantly changing, so make sure you’re getting an updated pulse on your team and not making assumptions that something is still working (or isn’t). During uncertain times and otherwise, these are good practices to put into place to show that you are a leader interested in getting to know your employees and remove barriers for them to be able to do their jobs.

Related: 4 Ways Diversity Is Directly Linked to Profitability

Leading in uncertain times takes a more active communication effort, transparency and a willingness to acknowledge you don’t have all the answers. Employees who already felt underutilized and unappreciated might feel even more separated from leadership and the mission of the organization. This is not the time to push them away, but to bring them in, acknowledge their contribution and provide them a space to be valued and heard. Let’s not forget that the hope is to go back to “normal.” If we are not taking diversity and inclusion seriously now, how will employees feel about it as a priority when they return to the office?

LinkedIn’s making its recruitment tools free to those fighting the coronavirus pandemic

High angle view of nurse walking around hospital while looking at a medical chart on tablet. **DESIGN ON SCREEN WAS MADE FROM SCRATCH BY US**

Like many other websites at the moment, the career-oriented networking platform LinkedIn has seen a big boost in traffic as a result of people being asked to work from home and stay indoors overall to slow the spread of the coronavirus, with a bump of 55% more conversational activity between existing connections in recent weeks. Now, to leverage that attention in a way that’s more directly helpful during this health crisis, LinkedIn  is introducing new measures specifically around job listings.

From today and for the next three months, LinkedIn says it will provide free job postings for “essential” businesses globally — companies in healthcare, as well as warehousing, supermarket, freight delivery and nonprofits working in support or relief roles — in other words, those providing critical front-line services to keep the economy and society in motion. Healthcare will include companies working in areas like medical devices, medical practice (including hospitals) and mental health care.

Alongside this, LinkedIn is creating an “urgent jobs” board to give these openings more priority visibility. People whose skills match up with those needed for these jobs who visit LinkedIn’s jobs homepage will see the special listings highlighted. Those who sign up for job alerts with matching skills will in turn get real-time alerts of the jobs as they get posted.

The volunteer ads also link up with an expanded Recruiting for Good program to help bring in more people to work with nonprofits in both volunteer and paid roles. And those doing the recruiting will also get three months of free access to LinkedIn’s talent insights tools to figure out where their (free) ads are best placed around hiring trends and more.

Organizations that have already signed up to use these include the American Red Cross of Los Angeles, the CommonSpirit Health hospital network, Doctors on Demand and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The new initiatives underscore the bigger trend of how tech companies are looking to provide whatever assistance they can bring to the table in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

(Others include Google, which is trying to help with testing, while also providing a landing page for official and local information, while both Facebook and Twitter are trying to stamp out fake news while surfacing links to official organizations for help.)

Recruitment — which has traditionally been LinkedIn’s biggest revenue generator (as part of Microsoft, it does not regularly report financials on its business lines) — has been in an interesting position within that.

On the one hand, recruitment and its counterpart, employment, have been two of the essential levers in fighting this pandemic.

On the clinical front, hospitals and related care organizations are scrambling to keep up with the surge in demand for their services, leading to major recruitment drives to bring in people with relevant experience, in some cases going straight to the ranks of those who may have left the profession and now are being asked to step in again.

In the U.K., for example, some 4,500 doctors and nurses have so far answered an open call to come back into medical service (many will have moved on to other non-clinical or managerial roles in the NHS, or left the public sector, or the profession altogether, not just retired due to age), with more likely to come. And that’s just on the clinical front. We’re seeing a multitude of call outs across other sectors, like technology, to bring in experts in AI and other areas to help design software and hardware to slow the spread of the virus, to alleviate some of the side effects, to identify it faster and maybe even to potentially cure it.

In another vein, the closures of restaurants and public places has put a big shift on to supermarkets and other food providers to beef up their work forces to meet their rising demands. That’s meant that while many people have lost their old jobs due to closures, they are getting opportunities to redeploy elsewhere.

(The same goes for the collective groundswell of people who have emerged as volunteers to help others who are in need, with hundreds of thousands volunteering to help deliver medications or other essential tasks to supplement the work of front-line healthcare providers.)

On another level, beyond addressing the pandemic in a direct way, employment and recruitment have become something of a canary in the coal mine when it comes to assessing how different sectors and the economy overall is faring, and how it will look when the pandemic starts to subside.

We’ve charted some notable developments of hiring freezeslayoffs and furloughs in the tech world already — as well as hiring boosts for those suddenly finding their businesses in huge demand — and the same thing is playing out across other sectors, a trend LinkedIn, as one of the bigger recruitment portals in the world, is well-positioned to see.

“The trend as the virus moves through the world has been a decline in job posts,” said Blake Barnes, LinkedIn’s head of careers and talent solutions. “It’s a pattern we saw starting in China with the first wave of the pandemic.” Positively, he noted that “we have also seen that recovery brings growth as well.”

For now, LinkedIn has set some criteria in place to tailor eligibility. For example, nonprofit organizations that want to be a part of the Recruiting for Good program need to be U.S. 501c3 registered (or the global equivalent), providing disaster response or services for COVID-19 relief​. Hospitals that want to be a part of the Recruiting for Good program (but not for the general critical recruitment drive) need to be in critical areas of coronavirus outbreak (based on impact data) and understaffed and in need of urgent clinical front-line workers for COVID-19 response.

Over time, there will likely be more types of businesses added to the mix of “essential” companies (for example, as a car parts company retools to become a ventilator maker) and nonprofits over time, and also more evolutions in how job ads get seen by people. The main point was to deploy quickly to start work as soon as possible.

“We are keeping a close eye on the situation, but we have already seen a critical talent shortage,” said Barnes. “We’re starting with the obvious companies, but we’re getting these tools to market where they are most needed. But things change every single day, so we’ll be assessing in real time to understand how different sectors are evolving and changing.”

How to job hunt during the coronavirus pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, moving forward in any way careerwise seems complicated at best. But while the economic and social implications of COVID-19 have caused employment numbers to take a hit (in just a week, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment), there’s still a wide variety of companies that are hiring. 

“Sellers of food and other essentials like Walmart and Amazon say they are looking to hire thousands of people,” says Rebecca Binder, senior managing director at RF|Binder, a strategic communications and consulting firm. “Additionally, medical supply manufacturers are seeing demand for their products soar and are recruiting workers.” And as the shift toward digital accelerates now that millions are working from home, technology and services companies that cater to them, as well as online businesses that don’t rely on brick-and-mortar locations, are likely to continue hiring.

Depending on what you want to do and where your skills lie, there is still a job out there for you—even if it may not feel that way. “When job hunting during this difficult time, remember that this is a very unique situation that no one could have ever anticipated,” says Kim Hoffman, Intuit’s director of talent acquisition. The key thing is to be respectful as everyone figures out how to move forward during this trying time, “especially as you reach out to HR representatives who may be overwhelmed helping their employees cope with the change,” says Hoffman.

From needing a lot of patience to a good Wi-Fi connection, here’s how to job hunt right now. 

Be patient and acknowledge the situation 

The name of the game here is patience. As frustrating as it is to wait for an answer when it comes to getting a job, things are most likely not moving as normal right now. “Many companies are still trying to figure out what the coronavirus means for their business,” says Binder. “While some companies may have hiring freezes, many are still interviewing for open positions—they just may not be moving as fast as originally planned. Show understanding and do not interpret delayed responses as lack of interest.”

Keep this patience in mind when communicating with hiring managers. “You don’t know what companies or employees are dealing with, so it is best to lead with empathy.” If you recently interviewed with a company and have not heard back, it’s okay to reach out to the recruiter. However, says Hoffman, you should consider waiting at least two weeks before following up. “You should preface the email by acknowledging the situation as well as checking to see if there’s anything further they need from you. Then, give them breathing room to respond at their own pace,” she says.

Network and update your resources

While a lot of things may be harder from home, updating your recruiter-facing resources is one that is actually easier. “This is a perfect opportunity to work on your personal branding, like updating your résumé and LinkedIn profile, or building new skills,” says Hoffman. Virtual workshops and online classes can add to your skill level, making you more marketable.

Once you’ve updated all your assets, it’s time to network. There’s plenty of ways to keep doing so while social distancing, but Hoffman recommends reaching out to people for virtual coffee meetings and informal interviews to learn more about opportunities at their company. Just test your Wi-Fi connection first.

Highlight any remote work experience and skills

For anyone who has worked from home before, now is your chance to emphasize this major asset. “Consider adapting your résumé to highlight any previous remote work experience, as well as including any achievements gathered while working from home,” says Sherice Sargent, human resources specialist at Insperity, a provider of human resources and business performance solutions. Did you solve a big crisis or put on a huge presentation from home? Tell recruiters all about it. 

After seeing the potential of remote work, it may be incorporated further by companies even after this crisis is over. So while many people are quickly having to adapt to working remotely, it does require a different set of skills that you should highlight if you have them already. “Companies may look for candidates that exhibit soft skills, such as adaptability, creativity, and productivity,” says Sargent. “Additionally, applicants should consider emphasizing their technical aptitude, as a remote setup can demand frequent conference calls or video meetings.” 

Graduating seniors should use their university’s online resources estimates about 3.9 million people will graduate from college this year, many of whom expect to apply for and start jobs shortly thereafter. Yet, without traditional resources like job fairs and in-person internships, this can feel all the more daunting.

Fortunately, “many career service centers have moved online as campuses close, offering students access to a number of resources while remote.” says Christine Cruzvergara, vice president of higher education and student success at Handshake. Resources like this job site and college databases allow students to communicate directly with employers. Cruzvergara explains the importance of checking your account regularly, keeping your profile updated, and reaching out to employers to optimize your chances of being hired. 

If a company isn’t hiring right now, ask it to keep you in mind

Maybe you’re interested in working at a company that has implemented a hiring freeze or simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to bring on anyone new soon. “If there are no open positions at the moment, ask if it would be possible to have an informational interview in the coming weeks to learn more,” says Binder. “Companies will still want to build their talent pipeline, so be proactive, persistent, and respectful.” When job hunting, even just getting your name in the door can make a big difference during this challenging time.

These 10 companies are hiring the most workers right now—coronavirus be damned

Unemployment claims are expected to reach record levels for a second week in a row, with some analysts predicting between 4 million and 6.5 million more people will be added to the ranks of the jobless as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rock the economy.

That said, some companies are still hiring during these dark days, and they’re not all healthcare providers. LinkedIn job posting data for the March 15-21 period suggests you may find open positions in a few surprising areas. Among them: system operator, CPA, and academic adviser.

But even more surprising are the employers with the most job openings. LinkedIn’s report found these companies in the top 10:

  1. 7-Eleven
  2. Army National Guard
  3. KPMG
  4. Amazon
  5. Genentech
  6. Lowe’s
  7. HCA Healthcare
  8. Intuit
  9. Nepris
  10. Whole Foods

Food and household goods are a priority for much of the country right now as shelter-in-place orders keep people inside, so it’s not surprising that the top, middle, and bottom of the list are major suppliers. And Genentech and HCA Healthcare both aim to staff up to combat the pandemic.

But you may not have heard that the National Guard has mobilized in all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia. According to the organization, National Guard members are “bringing protective equipment to first responders and hospital staff, supporting testing facilities and call centers, helping disinfect public spaces, providing transport, delivering food and serving as liaisons in state Emergency Operations Centers, among other missions.”

More than 13,000 Guard members have been deployed, but more help is obviously needed as the COVID-19 crisis escalates.

Meanwhile, although Tax Day has been postponed until July, it is still officially tax season, and so KPMG and Intuit continue to recruit those professionals.

As for No. 9 on the list, Nepris is an e-learning company that connects students to industry professionals. The platform aims to go beyond the traditional academic curriculum to introduce high school students and their teachers to content about a variety of career role models, workplaces, and experiences.

LinkedIn’s principal economist, Guy Berger, PhD, says, “Based [on] hiring trends in other countries, we anticipate hiring will rebound in the U.S. when much of the labor force is able to return to work.”

Ask a Recruiter: How Can I Job Search During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

InHerSight asked Dana Hundley and Jenna Richardson, co-founders of Career Cooperative, to weigh in on pressing questions about the way the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is affecting job seekers and companies. These are their answers, in their own words.

What’s your elevator pitch?

We are the co-founders of Career Cooperative, an Oakland, California-based boutique consulting firm that empowers clients to face career transitions, professional growth, and recruiting with confidence. We consult with companies to attract diverse talent through impactful recruiting and interview strategies, and support employees through career development. We started working together at a recruiting agency, and through our combined more than decade in full-cycle recruiting, we’ve worked with hundreds of candidates and companies and learned a lot in the process. When you have a focus, understand your value, master the magic of your story, and build a supportive and diverse community, the realm of possibilities is endless.

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is rapidly changing our working world. Should women who are job hunting at this time expect to hear back from employers? Should they even try? 

Always try — but don’t go in with any specific expectations. This is uncharted territory, and while some businesses have a clear game plan, many don’t as the impacts of this are largely unknown, so be patient and continue to check in at reasonable intervals. If you are job searching, do your best to understand the market and focus your efforts toward companies that have the capability to continue business (to the best of their abilities) through this crisis. 

If women aren’t hearing back from employers right now, what can they do to stay active in their job search?

Reach out to your community and get conversations going with people in your industry or role of interest who may know more about the market. Community will always play a crucial role during your job search, and especially now, engage with your community to not only support your job search, but also your overall well-being. Remember, community is at its best when people help each other, so truly engage and return the favor in ways you can. Come up with a few different game plans for your job search — talk to your friends (or career coaches) to plan for contingencies. 

Fine tune your job search toolkit: your master resume, cover letter, and list of accomplishments — what we like to call your brag sheet. Explore and research companies on your curiosity list (we recommend always keeping a running list of companies you are interested in) to get an understanding of where you want to place your efforts. 

What if the company they were interviewing for suddenly is under a hiring freeze because of coronavirus — how can women stay top of mind even if the job isn’t on the table at the moment?

Follow the company on social media, connect with the hiring managers and those you interviewed with on LinkedIn, and check in with them (but be reasonable; if we’re still in the same situation in three weeks’ time, maybe wait until May). 

And when you get the initial communication that there is a freeze, ask the recruiting or hiring manager how to best follow up and when. They likely won’t know specifics about timelines — many don’t right now — but you are setting the expectation that you will be following up and showing your engagement. 

If women are hearing back, what kinds of questions, if any, should they be asking employers in relation to coronavirus? 

Start by asking directly about the interview process and timeline: What does a typical interview process look like, how has that changed, and what can I expect? And ask about the process and timeline at every touchpoint. For example, after your second interview: We talked about the process after the first phone call, are you still expecting X interviews, and when can I expect to hear from you again?

During this time, we should just expect that recruiting and interviewing processes are going to be changing in real time, and quickly, so asking along the way helps manage expectations and create flow for any needed follow=up.

Other questions to ask during interviews:

  • Has the pandemic impacted strategic business/hiring goals? 
  • What has the work-from-home mandate looked like for employees at X company?
  • How is X company supporting employees during this time?
  • Since the interview process won’t include an on-site interview, I’d love to hear more about the culture and feel of the office — is it buzzing or quiet? Do people talk to each other in the lunch line/in the elevator/at the coffeemaker? If not, how do people typically communicate with one another?

How about interviewing in general during coronavirus? What if an employer wants to interview in person, but a job seeker isn’t comfortable with that? How can they navigate that conversation?

At this point, we hope companies are listening to government mandates and not recommending that candidates come on-site for interviews. If they are, here’s how to navigate that ask: I’m excited to move forward with the next step of the interview process! I’d love to come on-site to see the office, but because of the risks of social interaction during this pandemic, are you able to accommodate a video/virtual interview instead?

You should expect that all interviewing will be done virtually for the foreseeable future, so if you’ve never interviewed via video in some form, there are a ton of resources right now with tips and best practices. Make sure your tech is up to date and you know the best place in your home for the internet that also is quiet with appropriate backgrounds.

As a recruiter, what other concerns are you hearing from job seekers at this time, and what are you saying to them?

Most of the concerns we’re hearing are related to the future of the job marketplace, and unfortunately, a lot of what things are going to look like in the coming months are largely unknown. There will be jobs available, but what those jobs look like and when they become available may change due to the state of this pandemic. Be patient, flexible, and creative when approaching your job search and reach out for help as you need it — generally speaking, your community will provide!

Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader, dies at 98

he Rev. Joseph Lowery, a leader in America’s civil rights movement, died Friday.He was 98.Lowery’s death was confirmed by family representative Imara Canady, who said he died of natural causes.Often called the “dean” of the civil rights movement, he worked hand in hand in the movement’s formative years with the Revs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson.He once said he missed “Martin” and other civil rights activists who had died before him. But he felt that God was keeping him for a single cause: To address the injustices of the criminal justice system, particularly toward poor black men.”It’s the last facet here of racial oppression,” Lowery once said of the American criminal justice system.

Police encounter led to a career in civil rights

Joseph Echols Lowery was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on October 6, 1921. His father owned a small business, and his mother was a part-time schoolteacher. He married Evelyn Gibson in 1950. The couple had three daughters, and Lowery had two sons from a previous marriage.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery speaks during a 2012 press conference in Atlanta.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery speaks during a 2012 press conference in Atlanta.His hometown was typical of Southern mill villages of the 1920s, where racial lines were well-defined and the Ku Klux Klan used cross burnings and other scare tactics against African-Americans.Lowery said it was an encounter with a policeman at his father’s sweets shop when he was 12 or 13 years old that triggered his desire to work as a civil rights activist.”A big white policeman was coming in, and he punched me in the stomach with his nightstick,” Lowery told the Atlanta Tribune magazine in 2004.”He said, ‘Get back n—–. Don’t you see a white man coming in the door?'”After graduating from college, Lowery became an ordained Methodist minister who served congregations in Alabama and Georgia. He later became a peace activist, joining the fight against segregation and organizing marches in Selma and Birmingham, Alabama.He served nearly half a century as a pastor, spending much of that time with Central United Methodist and Cascade United Methodist in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lowery was a co-founder of the SCLC

In 1957, as racial tensions rose across the United States, Lowery helped start the Southern Christian Leadership Conference civil rights organization with King. Their work helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which President Lyndon Johnson signed.”We had been through sit-ins and kneel-ins where we had been beat up and locked up and cussed out and locked out,” Lowery said in a 1994 interview. “It was a milestone, a watershed. It helped America take off the cloak of official segregation.”Lowery later served as the SCLC’s president for more than two decades, leading protests for civil rights in South Africa and peace in the Middle East.He remained an activist even after retiring in 1992, fighting for gay rights and election reform, and against capital punishment.”We had to remain ever vigilant … and energetic to protect those rights, lest the clock be turned back,” Lowery said.He vowed never to seek political office, like some of his fellow activists, because he said he could achieve more for the civil rights movement from among the people.”He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family. Thank you, sir,” the King Center tweeted Friday night.

The King Center@TheKingCenter


Tonight, the great Reverend Joseph E. Lowery transitioned from earth to eternity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family.

Thank you, sir.

[: MLK, Lowery, Wyatt Tee Walker]

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2,23311:26 PM – Mar 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,015 people are talking about thisBernice King also tweeted Friday saying it’s hard to imagine a world without Lowery.”I’m grateful for a life well-lived and for its influence on mine. I’ll miss you, Uncle Joe,” she said.

Be A King@BerniceKing


It’s hard to imagine a world or an Atlanta without Reverend #JosephLowery. I’m grateful for a life well-lived and for its influence on mine. I’ll miss you, Uncle Joe. You finally made it up to see Aunt Evelyn again.

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85411:36 PM – Mar 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy162 people are talking about this

Lowery was a recipient of the Medal of Freedom

Lowery started the Coalition for the People’s Agenda in 1998 to educate and register new voters, and he continued to be involved in the cause until his passing.In 2006, he was criticized for playing politics at the funeral of Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., for railing against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.”We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there, but Coretta knew, and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here,” Lowery said. “Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war, billions more, but no more for the poor.”

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery in 2009.

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery in 2009.Supporters said he merely echoed King’s sentiments against the bloodshed in Iraq.Lowery received numerous honors late in life. He delivered the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, and Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom six months later.With all the accolades and honors he received during his lifetime, Lowery never stopped working to empower people to unite to fight for their rights.”As one, we can poke you in the eye,” he told the Atlanta Tribune, holding up one finger, then shaping his hand into a fist. “But if we come together, we can knock you out.”

Working from home is great for diversity. Let’s keep it going

There are far better reasons to embrace remote work than just avoiding the coronavirus.

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the conversation around remote work has been growing. It started with companies encouraging employees to stay at home. Within two weeks most companies, especially in tech, were mandating employees to work remotely and to suspend any business travel.

Right now, the boom in remote work is due to social distancing, the necessity for people to keep their distance from each other to slow down the advance of the coronavirus.

But there are many other positive impacts from remote work beyond just not catching a virus. Working from home cuts commute time, which is often wasted time. It’s green, since it reduces the fossil fuel burn and carbon release of car commutes. It erases the high cost of business travel.

Remote work can benefit businesses in other valuable ways. It can improve diversity. Any major company, especially in tech, will tell you that one of its top business concerns is a lack of talent. Attracting and retaining good people is critical. Remote work can open the door to talent pools that are more diverse in three key areas: gender, accessibility, and race.


Flexible work and remote work, in particular, can help women return to work after having a baby or while caring for a family member. According to a 2015 AARP report on caregiving in America, 6 in 10 caregivers are women. This ratio has been pretty stable over the years, and with the 65+ population in the U.S. projected to almost double by 2060, the number of women expected to care for others will only grow.

For a long time, moms returning from maternity leave have had very little choice in balancing their new duties at home with work. The best option has often been a reduction in hours, which, more often than not, has led to reduced career opportunities. Remote work allows women the flexibility to be part of their children’s lives, while also maintaining a consistent presence at work.

Remote working empowers women to pursue a career, not just employment. Often, women coming back into the workforce were limited to service and support roles, such as administrative jobs. Technology advancements, coupled with a higher degree of acceptance for digital services, have started to open new career opportunities for women in fields such as education, medicine, data analysis, and marketing.


According to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, just over 19% of people with self-identified disabilities are employed. Succeeding in the workplace is not easy for employees with physical or mental disabilities, who often face discrimination, especially in highly competitive industries such as tech.

The most obvious advantage remote work offers to people with disabilities is avoiding the commute to the office. Depending on location and type of disability, a commute can mean a lengthy and stressful process of finding van pools and wheelchair-accessible public transportation. Remote work positions look more appealing to people who don’t live within a reasonable commute distance and who don’t relish the thought of relocating.

Being able to work in a home environment, already designed around the needs of the individual, allows for higher productivity and job satisfaction. Working from home also allows the employee to fit doctor or physiotherapy visits into their schedule without disrupting their work and adding more commute time to their day. Lastly, being on their own turf empowers people with disabilities by letting them be seen for their work skills more than their physical disability.


The level of ethnic and racial diversity in America differs dramatically from state to state. This means that companies in less diverse places might need to recruit from outside the area and expect new employees to relocate. But new hires might not like the idea of moving to a less diverse place. They might find themselves struggling to fit in both at work and in the community.


Let’s take the tech sector and Silicon Valley as an example. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2018, Silicon Valley had just over 2 million people, and only 2% of those were black. If companies relied solely on the local talent pool, the annual diversity reports many publish wouldn’t show much progress. Attracting diverse talent from outside the area is also complicated by the high cost of living in tech centers such as the Bay Area and Seattle.

It seems absurd that in 2020 we are still talking about the level of energy required for minority groups to fit into the office culture. Yet, for many minority workers, the daily office reality includes code-switching (switching between two languages) and micro-aggressions. The strain does not end with the workday. The newly relocated employee might struggle to find a community culture that offers the food, or services, or places of worship they’ve grown up with.

Remote work would let companies find new talent pools, and also let employees stay in the environment where they’re happiest and most productive.


I’m not suggesting that remote work is a panacea for the multifaceted diversity issues facing many organizations. Any company leader in any sector should condemn racism and intolerance and foster inclusion, so that minority workers feel valued. Alongside that effort, remote work can help boost those diversity numbers a little faster.

There is a lot of debate on whether working from home is more or less productive than being in the office. Some think creativity might be at risk when employees can’t work directly with their peers.

In truth, the success of remote work depends on the person’s job, the company they work for, their personality, and other factors such as commute time, the kind of office they normally work in, how many other people on their team work remotely, and the list goes on.

For many of us, as “shelter in place” has rolled out to many counties around California and is being considered in other major cities, whether we enjoy working from home or not doesn’t really matter—it’s our new reality, at least for the time being.

But when the crisis eventually passes, I hope the companies that rushed to get their employees working from home will not be too quick to fall back into their work-happens-at-work mindsets, but rather incorporate remote work practices into their businesses for the long run. They should purposefully use remote work to foster a more diverse workforce, because remote work is good for diversity, and diversity is great for business.

Carolina Milanesi is principal analyst at Creative Strategies and founder of The Heart of Tech, a tech consultancy focused on education and diversity. She has been covering consumer tech for over 15 years.

These companies are hiring thousands of new employees during the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus has drastically shifted the world’s buying habits, and businesses are rapidly adjusting to the new pandemic reality.Many retailers are shut down, but consumers continue to flock to pharmacies, grocery stores and take-out restaurants. Demand for essential goods and food has skyrocketed and stores are hiring like crazy to keep up.


CVS (CVS) said it is looking to fill a total of 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary positions nationwide, including “store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and member/customer service professionals.”On its website, the retail pharmacy chain said the new employees will help take some strain off its existing workers. The companyplans to hire many of the employees who werefurloughed or laid off by some of its major business clients, including Hilton and Marriott.CVS says it plans to use virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts during its hiring process.


Grocery stores and online retailers have been overwhelmed with an influx of customers now being forced to spend more time at home because ofthe novel coronavirus. As a result, Walmart (WMT), the nation’s largest grocery store chain, is looking to beef up its own supply chain.The companyplans to hire 150,000 workers for full-time, part-time and temporary positions at its distribution and fulfillment centers across the United States.It is also expediting the hiring process in light of news of mass layoffs around the country. Applicants can “get hired and begin working … in as little as 24 hours,” according to Walmart’s website.”We’re growing, expanding and looking for more people who want to make a difference providing for customers,” Greg Smith, Walmart’s head of supply chain, said in a statement.


Instacart is looking to hire hundreds of thousands of workers to meet surging demand for grocery deliveries as millions of people are urged to stay home.The on-demand grocery startup said it wants to hire 300,000 “full-service shoppers” in North America over the next three months. They will be treated as independent contractors. The hires would more than double the company’s current workforce of full-service shoppers.


Amazon (AMZN) has seen an unanticipated boom in business now that coronavirus “shelter-in-place” orders across the nation have limited many Americans to onlineshopping.The company plans to hire 100,000 people nationwide for full-time and part-time roles in Amazon’s delivery network and at its fulfillment centers.”We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis,” the company said in a statement on its website. “We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”

Albertsons Companies

Albertsons — the parent company for Albertsons, Safeway, Randalls, United Supermarkets and several other food and drug retail chains — wants to hire 30,000 new employees to keep up with increased demand.A spokesman for the retail conglomerate said the new roles are for “delivery drivers, personal shoppers, our distribution centers, and our call center.””We are hiring in all [subsidiaries] across the 34 states (DC) we operate,” the spokesperson said via email, declining to provide further details.

Dollar General

Dollar General is looking to add up to 50,000 employees to its workforce by the end of April. The company said it anticipatesmost of its new roles will be temporary, but it also expectssome of the new employees will receive “long-term career growth opportunities.”


Pepsi (PEP) said that it wants to hire 6,000 full-time, frontline employees in the coming months. The company is also providing “enhanced benefits” to its US-based workers and increasing its compensation for its current US frontline employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.In a written statement, PepsiCo chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta said the company’s employees are doing “important work” providing food and beverages to people at a critical time.”We couldn’t be prouder of our PepsiCo team for the role they play in restocking pantries and refrigerators,” he said.

Papa John’s

Papa John’s is one of three major pizza chains looking to take advantage of all the restaurant closings across the country.The company announced plans to hire 20,000 new “restaurant team members.””For anyone looking for immediate ways to earn an income, we’re making it quick and simple to apply, interview and be hired at Papa John’s,” Marvin Boakye, Papa John’s chief people and diversity officer, said in a statement. “We are in the unique position — as a restaurant that specializes in delivery and carryout — to help our communities through this crisis.”


Domino’s (DMPZF) plans to hire 10,000 employees to work as pizza makers, delivery personnel andcustomer service representatives. The company is also looking for people to fill roles at its supply chain centers in addition to management and assistant management positions.In particular, Domino’s is recruiting 1,000 new employees to work at more than 100 stores in the Chicago metro area.”The opportunity to keep feeding our neighbors through delivery and carryout means that a small sense of normalcy is still available to everyone,” Domino’s CEO Richard Allison said in a statement. “Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily impacted restaurant industry.”

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is recruiting more than 30,000 employees across the nation and says its new drivers can start working in as little as five hours upon hiring.”Now more than ever, restaurants have an important role in feeding families and those looking for safe, fast, and reliable food from brands they can trust,” the company said in a statement.


7-Eleven, the nation’s largest convenience store chain, expects to hire up to 20,000 new store employees to meet increased demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.Some of the new roles are for delivery workers to help the company meet a spike in mobile orders received through its delivery app.”This will provide job opportunities and ensure 7‑Eleven stores remain clean and in-stock with the goods our customers need during this critical time,” the company’s president and CEO Joe DePinto said in a statement.

GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare needs additional manufacturing employees to build medical ventilators, which have been in high demand and short supply during the coronavirus pandemic. Kieran Murphy, GE Healthcare’s president and CEO, said the companyalsoneeds to increase its manufacturing capacity and output of CT scan machines, “ultrasound devices, mobile X-ray systems, patient monitors and ventilators,” which are critical to diagnosing and treating Covid-19 patients.

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