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Why does diversity still bother black technology workers?



Why does diversity still bother black technology workers?

Looks like technology is turning.

Over the years, an industrial giant has declined the call to reveal data on labor diversity, making it difficult to determine exactly how much Silicon Valley is whiter and male than the general population. But Google’s 2014 decision to publish racial and gender damage from its workforce seems to signal a big change.

The figures show an industry dominated by white and Asian men. Of the nearly 50,000 employees at Google in 2014, 83% were male, 60% were white, and 30% were Asian. Only 2.9% are Latin, and 1.9% are Black. A year later, when other large Silicon Valley companies began releasing their own diversity figures, Google announced it would dedicate $ 150 million to increase diversity in the company.

In the years since, Google has more than doubled its workforce but made minimal progress towards being more representative. The amount is the same in all industries.

This lack of diversity – in May, Google reported that 5.9% of its employees and contractors were Latinos and 3.7% were blacks – extended to the ranks of top executives, entrepreneurs who found companies, and venture capitalists who invested in startups .

The industry, which boasts of its agility, has failed to move the needle at workplace diversity. The end result is the entire economic sector – the sector that has created the most wealth in California in the last 10 years, prints billionaires, and reshaped the San Francisco Bay Area in its own image – which is functionally barely open to Blacks and Latins.

Technology leaders often point to “plumbing problems” to explain Black’s lack of recruitment and promotion. But in 2016, 12% of graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics were black, according to the Center for National Education Statistics. Even graduate classes in computer science at Stanford, Silicon Valley’s elite training ground, are more diverse than companies just down the road from campus.

Whether you are setting targets based on national populations or STEM graduates, several technology companies are approaching, said Freada Kapor Klein, a founding partner of the venture capital company Kapor Capital, which has advocated an increase in technological diversity in decades.

“There are many hard and fast figures that you can use to set up goal posts,” Kapor Klein said. “But [tech companies] not even in the parking lot – they are so far from the field that they need binoculars to see them. “

The problem, according to Kapor Klein’s estimate, is not a matter of education but access and support. A number of Black technology professionals agree that the industry’s reliance on personal relationships to provide access and opportunities is partly to blame, producing network effects that conflict with Black and Latino inclusions.

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The origin of the technology ecosystem – venture capital funds – shows the problem.

Kanyi Maqubela, managing partner of Kindred Ventures, said that the industry’s dependence on personal relationships perpetuates a gate maintenance system that is almost designed to keep investors like him out.

Black investors make up less than 1% of venture capitalists. And this is a small world to begin with. In 2018, only 713 individual investors in large venture funds, which are defined as having more than $ 250 million managed, have the power to lead transactions, sit on the board, and write checks to invest in companies, according to an Information survey. Of that group, 11 are Latino and seven are Black.

A number of leading companies – such as Sequoia, Benchmark, Greylock, and Kleiner Perkins – have no Black partners at all.

Large groups of money investing in venture capital funds as limited partners will trust new venture capitalists to handle their money only if more investors have worked with them in the past to guarantee it – and Black’s established investors are few and far between .

When a Black VC came out to try to raise new funds from that limited partner, Maqubela said, “They take all the demographic patterns they know and apply them purely to you.”

“I am fortunate to have attracted or recruited a number of mentors who decided to train me and guarantee to me, almost all white men,” Maqubela said, “so when I went out to raise funds, I had more than a dozen people who spoke and made calls. on my behalf as a way to show that I am at the club. “

The barrier made it difficult for Black VC to create a strong track record of investing large sums of money and generating large returns for their own records. BLCK VC, a group founded in 2018 as a support and organizing network, has a mission to increase the number of Black VCs from 200 to 400 by 2024, in an industry with nearly 4,000 active investors throughout the country.

“I have talked to a black VC who can move me around intellectually about finance, products, anything, but didn’t know you needed strong references to be trusted by LP,” Maqubela said. “This is evidence of the structural nature of how venture capital is damaged.”

This system was created for a venture capital landscape that is less diverse than other mainstream financial institutions. Six percent of investment bankers and almost 9% of black financial consultants, compared to less than 1% for venture capital, according to a Harvard Business School Studies 2017.

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Problems in venture capital remain throughout the industry.

The percentage of black employees in large technology companies remains low: 2.9% on Salesforce, 3.8% on Facebook, 4.4% on Slack, 4.5% on Microsoft, and 6% on Twitter. Lyft and Uber’s workforce are 9% and 9.3% Black, but are heavily biased towards lower-paid operations teams. Apple’s workforce is 9% Black, but that includes retail employees. Amazon, which employs nearly 800,000 people worldwide, mostly in low warehouses and logistics jobs, has a workforce of 26.5% black overall, but only 8.3% is black among managers.

The number of black people in leadership or high paid technical roles is still lower. For example, at Google, only 2.6% leadership and 2.4% Black technical workers. On Facebook, black people only make 3.1% of them in leadership roles and 1.5% of them in technical roles.

Less than 1% of startup founders who receive venture funding are Black. And with few Black investors sitting on their boards, the percentage of Black’s top executives in large technology companies is even lower.

The problem is not the lack of qualified candidates, but the company’s reluctance to open its doors, said Bari Williams, head of law at Human Interest, a financial services startup.

Companies are reluctant to expand the schools they recruit to include black colleges and universities, said Williams, who advocates diversity in Silicon Valley. “It always comes to some semblance of seeing it as lowering the bar,” he said. Williams, who used to work at StubHub and Facebook, said he saw candidates passed because they attended HBCU.

Many technology companies also rely heavily on references from current employees, a system that is not uncommon in business but which can strengthen network effects. “Who do you usually refer to? People who look and act and dress and talk and do the same things you do,” Williams said.

After being hired, employees must overcome further obstacles to success. People in senior roles “want to guide and care for people who look like them or remind them of themselves,” Williams said. “So you don’t have someone who will advocate for you.”

The result is that even when blacks and Latinos come in, they often find themselves looking for a way out before long, and turnover remains high.

“The technological approach to diversity in recent years has been to fill a bathtub with an open drain,” said Kapor Klein, who co-authored a 2017 study on the topic. He said companies need to do hard work to examine everything from recruitment and investment practices to those running the HR department to eradicating alienating practices and excluding underrepresented groups. “If they are biased, correct them,” he said.

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Since the national protest over the murder of George Floyd in police custody triggered an examination of structural racism throughout American society, a number of venture capital funds and technology companies have announced initiatives to remedy the lack of representation of blacks and Latinos.

Japanese tech giant SoftBank, which has made waves in the technology world with a 100 billion dollar Vision Fund in recent years, announced a $ 100 million Opportunity Fund in early June to invest exclusively in color entrepreneurs. On the same day, Andreessen Horowitz, a leading venture fund in Silicon Valley with $ 14 billion under management, announced a similar fund that began with $ 2.2 million from corporate partners but was scheduled to grow with more contributions.

A number of companies have issued statements of solidarity in protest, although some have been in conflict with the company’s business and recruitment practices to date. Microsoft and Apple have committed to focus on the recruitment and retention of Black employees, with Apple pledging $ 100 million to support the effort. And many companies have committed to supporting nonprofit racial justice or Black-owned businesses, with Google promising more than $ 175 million and Facebook and Amazon donating $ 10 million to nonprofit racial justice. Facebook also announced that it would dedicate $ 100 million to support Black’s business this year, through a mix of free grants and advertising credits on its platform, and committed to giving $ 100 million of business to Black’s suppliers every year, among other efforts.

Black technology professionals, who have seen a wave of commitments come and go, say they are waiting to see if this promise results in real changes in hiring, mentoring, and investing.

Brentt Baltimore, senior colleague at Los Angeles Greycroft’s venture fund and member of the BLCK VC, said that he and his colleagues in the group have been flooded in recent weeks with questions from people in the industry asking how to do better.

Baltimore said that he was glad that more people were discussing the issue, but what was really needed was “boots on the ground”: consistent money, time and leadership dedicated to actively bringing more Black professionals and technology investors into the industry.

Without that, he said, “I don’t see much structural change.”

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Portuguese surfer to stop competing due to mental health issues



Portuguese surfer to stop competing due to mental health issues

O Surfer Vasco Ribeiro announced this Friday that he will not compete for some time. The athlete justified the decision with his own mental health.

Via social media, Vasco Ribeiro admitted that he had a tiring year when he was forced to seek help.

“I started competing when I was only nine years old and in the first race I started winning. In my career, everything happened very quickly, intensively and successfully, ”he began.

The athlete spoke about the exactingness to the result, which puts pressure on any athlete.

“As long as we’re winning, everything seems easy and we often don’t realize how difficult the life of a high-performing athlete is. one more to manage. I had little desire to do what matters most to me and so it was time to seek professional help to be able one day to fight for my dreams again,” he wrote.

“I decided that the most important thing right now is to focus and invest time in my mental health, because everything else starts with it: stability, family, friends, results, etc. This is my commitment and I have two beautiful daughters , which are my biggest drive and motivation for this new phase,” he added.

Vasco Ribeiro, aged 27, was national champion in various categories, European champion and junior world champion in surfing.

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Daymé Arocena launches samba in Portuguese produced by Kassin



Daymé Arocena

Daymé Arocena – Dancing and flying

The highlight of the new Cuban afro-jazz scene, singer-songwriter Daimyo of the Arocene dives into samba for the first time with a single entirely in Portuguese. “Dance and Fly” about freedom through art and produced Bag. This is the release from brownswood records.

Listen to “Dance and Fly”:

Watch the viewer “Dance and fly”:

Inspired by the desire to get closer to people during self-isolation, the song became a source of complete joy for the artist. “Dance and Fly” gave me the energy to be happy again, to be positive again, and I will always be grateful for this song. To be able to have this element to cleanse my soul of sadness, because music is like that, music has such power.”says the artist.

Produced between Puerto Rico and Rio de Janeiro, the composition Arocena learned from Cassin, one of the top Brazilian music producers of recent decades, who immersed himself in a samba ballad inspired by artists such as Javan, Lueji Moon, Ed Motta e Gal Costa. The group was formed by Kasin on bass along with great musicians: Danilo Andrade (keyboards), David Moraes (guitar), Alexander Siqueira (drums) and Daniel Conceicao (drums).

With four studio albums in his solo career, Daime, despite being only 30 years old, has already established himself as one of the main names of new Latin American jazz, using his music as an expression of his roots, faith and soul. Currently living in Puerto Rico and inspired by the Caribbean culture, the artist is preparing new releases.

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“The Portuguese real estate market is still very fragmented, complex and offline,” says Casavo VP Investment.



“The Portuguese real estate market is still very fragmented, complex and offline,” says Casavo VP Investment.

The real estate market is constantly changing, with increasingly demanding clients and an increasingly limited supply. New technologies have become indispensable tools for companies to use them to grow in this market, which, according to Duarte Ferreira dos Santos, vice president of investment in Lisbon at Casavo, “still remains very fragmented, complex and autonomous” .

In an interview with Executive Digest, Duarte Ferreira dos Santos believes that despite the momentum that the pandemic has given to the digitization of the real estate sector, the real estate industry is still characterized by traditional, autonomous and very dependent on bureaucratic and physical processes. In his opinion, the technological solutions that have emerged in recent years allow streamlining processes, making the real estate market faster, simpler and more uncomplicated, and improving the experience of all stakeholders, whether they are buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants or even real estate agents.

Portuguese real estate market.

“The Portuguese housing market, especially in the Lisbon metropolitan area, has an interesting transactional dimension as a result of the cultural preference to buy a house rather than rent it. In addition, the housing stock in the capital is very old and obsolete, the vast majority of houses were built before the 1980s,” he explains.

To respond to an aging supply, by renovating the houses that Casavo buys, they contribute to refurbishing old buildings in the city and making them more energy efficient.

“The Portuguese real estate market, like other markets in Southern Europe, continues to be very fragmented, complex and autonomous, despite the fact that the pandemic has accelerated the change in customer behavior towards the adoption of a digital channel.” Duarte Ferreira dos Santos believes that much remains to be done in this aspect, namely in the introduction of digital tools to make the market more transparent and improve interaction with buyers and sellers.

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400 million euros for business scaling

Casavo recently raised a new €400 million investment round, which includes a €100 million Series D round and a €300 million credit line.

“The total amount raised by Casavo will be used to scale the business and strengthen its leadership in Europe. This combination of equity and debt is a recognition of our strong growth and investor confidence in our long-term vision. This round will allow us to strengthen our leadership in Europe by growing in markets we already operate in, namely Portugal, Spain and Italy, as well as expanding into new markets where France is a priority.”

A tool that allows you to instantly evaluate real estate

In this context, the VP of Investment explains that Casavo provides a tool that allows sellers to instantly value their property. “Casavo can submit an offer in 48 hours and complete a purchase in a matter of days in a single visit… Through the use of a proprietary algorithm, Casavo ensures that the submitted offer is fair and based on objective criteria.”

On the other hand, for those who want to buy a house, Casavo presents a portfolio of ready-to-live-in properties with high energy efficiency and modern and attractive design, which can be found on the platform and viewed remotely using immersive technology. .

The future of the real estate market in Portugal

Looking to the future, Duarte Ferreira dos Santos believes that “due to the lack of supply of new construction and the high demand caused by the needs of families after the pandemic, we do not expect the market for refurbished homes to be significantly affected by the situation we are facing, especially in homes , prices for which correspond to the income of the Portuguese.

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However, he sees a slowdown that could be due not only to the rise in the cost of living for families associated with the current geopolitical context, but also to the increase in Euribor rates and the new rules that the Bank of Portugal has applied to housing. loans, which can contribute to an increase in the burden of households.

“In our view, it will be increasingly important to refurbish used homes that are outdated and dated to meet the needs of families,” he concludes.

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