‘Black Love’ Producer on Diversity: ‘You Can Talk About Those Things, or You Can Get the Hell Up’

black love producer

Even at a roundtable discussion full of people eager to talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion, there is always room for change.

At the 9th annual TheGrill conference held Wednesday at the London West Hollywood, one participant pointed out that the room was divided — people of color were sitting on one side, while white people sat on the other.

“It was ironic as sh–,” said panelist Tommy Oliver, producer of OWN’s “Black Love” series and the 2015 film “The Perfect Guy.” He was joined in leading the discussion by Brie Miranda Bryant, senior vice president of unscripted development and programming at Lifetime and co-producer of Lifetime’s game-changing documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” (read more)

Sephora Will Shut Down for an Hour of Diversity Training Tomorrow


In April, R&B star SZA said a Sephora employee called security to monitor her. Now the makeup store will take an hour off to address diversity and inclusion.

In 2015, the beauty retailer Sephora made its brand tagline “Let’s Beauty Together,” switching away from a prior mantra, “The Beauty Authority.” Its senior vice president for marketing and brand, Deborah Yeh, explained the tagline several years later: “Beauty is diverse and has many voices and faces,” she said. “We believe it’s for our clients to define and for us to celebrate.”

In late April, the R&B star SZA, who is black (and has said she worked at Sephora before she made it as a musician), reported that a Sephora employee in Calabasas, Calif. had “called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing.” The news threatened to upset that carefully honed, diversity-focused image, which has resonated with the brand’s young American customers. (read more)

A.I. for Hire: 4 Ways Algorithms Can Boost Diversity in Hiring

AI diversity hiring

Artificial intelligence can a “black box”—mysterious and more than a little intimidating. Meanwhile, new permutations of the tech are sprouting up like mushrooms, especially for recruiting and hiring. Yet as employers have increasingly tried to make their workforces more diverse and inclusive, the A.I. industry itself has taken some flak for being almost exclusively white and male. For instance, a recent study by New York University researchers points out that at tech giants like Facebook and Google, such tiny percentages of employees are female or nonwhite that the whole business is suffering a “diversity crisis.”

The irony there is that A.I., used correctly, has “a shot at being better at decision-making than we humans are, particularly in hiring,” says Aleksandra Mojsilovic. A research fellow in A.I. at IBM, Mojsilovic holds 16 patents in machine learning, and helped develop algorithms that can check other algorithms for unintended bias. An essential part of using A.I. to encourage diversity, she notes, is making sure the teams that build what goes into the black box are themselves a diverse group, with a variety of backgrounds and points of view. (read more)

How to improve diversity when recruiting

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A growing number of businesses consider diversity to be a key concern, with more than two-thirds of executives rating it as an important issue.

There are many reasons why making sure our workplaces are inclusive is important. Not only is it morally right, but having a diverse range of employees can help boost creative thinking, improve decision-making and also boost performance.

“Highly inclusive” organisations generate 1.4 times more revenue and are 120 percent more capable of meeting financial targets, according to Deloitte research.

When it comes to recruitment, improving diversity means attracting more diverse candidates and removing bias from the hiring process. So what are the factors you should consider?

Check your language in job adverts

It’s important to make sure a job advert attracts a wide range of people and to ensure certain language doesn’t deter candidates from applying.

“Pay attention to language in your job applications. You might say you have a young and vibrant culture, but this might put off older candidates,” said Abby Carlton, director of social impact at Indeed, speaking at the Indeed Interactive conference in Austin. (read more)

The most diverse field of Democratic presidential candidates ever is hiring diverse staff, too


The field of Democratic presidential hopefuls is the most diverse ever — it features a record number of women and several people of color — and it turns out candidates are hiring a diverse slate of campaign staff as well.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the majority of senior staffers for at least seven of the top-tier presidential candidates are women. And for at least two candidates, Sen. Kamala Harris and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, the majority of senior staffers are also people of color.

  1. “We know that diversity isn’t about creating a pretty picture, it’s about getting good policy. So it matters that women are calling the shots even if we can’t always see them,” Jess McIntosh, a Democratic strategist and former aide for the Hillary Clinton campaign, told Vox. (read more)

Naturally Native: The first film about Native women created by Native women.

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The first mainstream feature film funded and produced entirely by Native American. Starring Valerie Red-Horse, Irene Bedard, Kimberly Norris Guerrero.

Naturally Native follows the lives, loves, pain, joy and relationships of three sisters as they attempt to start their own business. Of American Indian ancestry, but adopted by white foster parents as young children, each sister has her own identity issues and each has chosen a very different career path.

Now dedicated to starting a Native cosmetic business, they attempt to overcome obstacles both in the business world and in the home. A touching love story of family and culture, Naturally Native also interweaves a subtle, but strong wake-up call regarding the treatment of Native people in corporate America. Naturally Native also provides some insight into tribal infrastructure and gaming issues. (read more)



Podcast | Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter, in More Ways than One


eMarketer director of sales Christine Anene and organization development director Mayte Espinal join the podcast to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Are D&I initiatives a question of good corporate citizenship, or are they also good for business? What are current trends and best practices in making offices more like the outside world? How do employees respond when companies focus on workplace health? (connect to podcast)

“Behind the Numbers” is sponsored by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Listen In.

Subscribe to the “Behind the Numbers” podcast on SoundCloudApple PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher.

Meet the New CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond — One of the First Black Woman to Lead a Fortune 500 Company

Mary Winston

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has announced that Mary Winston, a seasoned public company executive who recently joined the Bed Bath & Beyond Board of Directors, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Ms. Winston is a seasoned executive with significant governance expertise across a broad range of industries, having served on large public company boards and audit committees for many years. She has a strong background in all aspects of finance and accounting, as well as experience in M&A, corporate strategy, cost restructuring programs, corporate governance/compliance, and investor relations/communications.

Among other roles, she has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Family Dollar Stores Inc., Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Giant Eagle, Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Scholastic Corporation, Vice President and Controller of Visteon Corporation and Vice President, Global Financial Operations at Pfizer Inc. in the Pharmaceuticals Group. She started her career as a CPA and auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. (read more)

Yay Diversity! (Sigh)

diversity sigh

I love those nerdy Pew Research Center surveys because they provide such fascinating snapshots of how conflicted and confused Americans are on a host of issues.

The latest one is on American attitudes about racial and ethic diversity, and the section on workplace diversity should strike a chord with those in the legal profession.

Diversity Matters to Clients

How does your firm compare on diversity? Where are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses with Diversity? Use Legal Compass to compare firms on key metrics of race and gender diversity, and find out which firms are Mansfield Certified.
Get More Information

In a nutshell, Pew finds that a majority of Americans believe diversity is a worthwhile goal, but ”few endorse the idea of taking race or ethnicity into consideration in hiring and promotions.”

In other words, we like diversity in theory but just don’t want to tinker directly with the hard, messy stuff—which, of course, is race and ethnicity.

First, let me list some of the relevant findings from this survey of 6,637 adults in the United States (Pew notes that Asian responses are not broken out separately because of their small sample size): (read more)

Priyanka Chopra Wants Everyone To Talk About Diversity

Priyanka Chopra

Roughly one year ago, Priyanka Chopra Jonas spoke about her fearlessness in the face of adversity, especially when it comes to her career. “Ambition has no color,” she told me at the Forbes Women’s Summit. “It has no language. It has no border or country. Ambition is pure ambition. And I have it.”

The actress, producer & activist’s latest project falls right in line with that statement—and she wants to bring others on that journey alongside her. Chopra recently announced a collaboration with Obagi, a medical grade skincare product, on its new Skinclusion campaign, which encourages people around the world to recognize and address hidden or unconscious bias, specifically those surrounding skin tone. (read more)

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