Diversity

Apple emoji will soon include people with curly hair, white hair and superpowers

In honor of World Emoji Day (yes, that’s a thing), Apple is previewing some of its upcoming emoji. Later this year, Apple’s emoji set will feature people with a variety of hairstyles and colors, including curly hair, red hair and white hair. What you’re about to see are simply Apple’s take on emoji that were previously approved by the Unicode Consortium’s emoji subcommittee. Folks with curly hair, rejoice! Let’s hear it for the redheads Like white on rice No hair? No problem Other fun emoji include a freezing face, peacock, mango, lobster, nazar amulet, superheroes and kangaroo. Back in March, Apple proposed new emojis to represent people with disabilities in Unicode’s next batch of emoji. Then in May, Unicode announced some of the draft candidates for its next emoji release in Q1 2019 to ...

Facebook’s diversity efforts show little progress after five years

Facebook has released its fifth diversity report, and it’s fine. Unless companies fire everyone and start over, we’re not going to see drastic improvements anytime soon. “A critical lesson we’ve learned is that recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse, inclusive workforce should be a priority from day one,” Facebook Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams wrote in a blog post. “The later you start taking deliberate action to increase diversity, the harder it becomes.” Anyway, worldwide, Facebook is 36 percent female, up from 31 percent in 2014. In the U.S., Facebook is 3.5 percent black, compared to just 2 percent in 2014, and 4.9 percent Latinx compared to 4 percent in 2014. White people, unsurprisingly, still makes up the single largest population of employees (46.4 percent today v...

There’s a new, $100 million fund expressly for women founders of color

When Richelieu Dennis came to the U.S. from his home in Liberia to attend Babson College, he wasn’t expecting to stay. But unable to return home owing to the first Liberian civil war, stay he did, building the personal care products company SheaMoisture with his college roommate Nyema Tubman in Harlem and later establishing a larger holding company, Sundial Brands, that would oversee a suite of product lines focused on women of color. Among them, SheaMoisture, Nyakio, Nubian Heritage, and Madame C.J. Walker, named after a  philanthropist and social activist and one of the earliest female founders of color. (Walker, the daughter of slaves, died a wealthy woman at the age of 51 in 1919, after herself developing a line of beauty and hair products for black women.) All that hard work was seemi...

Nigerian Born Hollywood Actor Hakeem Kae Kazim Says Nollywood Lacks Diversity In Story Telling

     Tweet     “Nollywood Lacks Diversity In Story Telling” -Hakeem Kae Kazim In a recent chat with Premium Times, Nigerian born Hollywood actor Hakeem Kae Kazim talked at length on his professional plans for the feature after opening up on his take on Nollywood and Hollywood movie industries. See excerpts: We hear you currently star in three series on Netflix. What roles do you portray in each of them? In Dynasty, I play Cecil the patriarch of the wealthy Colby clan. In Troy: Fall of a City, I play Zeus and in 24 Hours to Live, I portray the role of Amah. You have enjoyed a steady rise in your career for going on two decades. What is the secret? Acting is a difficult profession. When you’re an actor, the competition is high but it is all about believing in what you do and having faith in ...

The hottest new space to disrupt is immigration

Ayah Bdeir Contributor Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks for children to create inventions, large and small. Tech CEOs and founders are disrupting everything from travel to food, to space, to sleep. Now it’s time to disrupt a process that so many of us have relied on to get where we are today: immigration. According to a study by the National Foundation for American Policy, immigrants have founded more than half of U.S. startup companies that are valued at more than one billion dollars. With all that is happening around us, now is the time for entrepreneurs to use their playbook for disrupting markets and apply it to immigration as a space — not for a financial upside, but for a more social, human upside. Turning a problem...

Code2040’s Karla Monterroso on desegregating the tech industry

Welcome back to CTRL+T, the TechCrunch podcast that connects the tech to the human. This week we talked about the beta release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system and some of the issues we have with the Memoji feature. We also discussed the fact that Microsoft improved its facial recognition tech, making it easier to identify darker skin tones. Oh great. Finally, Karla Monterroso of Code2040 joined us in the studio to drop some pretty hard truths about diversity in tech. The CEO of Code2040, which aims to increase the representation of black and brown people in the industry, says that the tech workforce is segregated. In 2018. Think about that. And that often the burden to effect change from within a company is placed on those two or three — or one or two — black and Latinx folks. “M...

These 50 founders and VCs suggest 2018 may be a tipping point for women in tech: Part 2

On Friday, we featured 25 founders and VCs who are having a notable 2018 — and who happen to be women. Herewith, 25 more who deserve some kudos for getting it done in the first half of this year. This list, meant to highlight the growing number of women with interesting companies or starting venture firms to watch, could easily be several times longer, we’re gleefully aware. Please feel free to tweet us or nominate in our comments section other women who’ve reached a particular milestone in 2018 and should be included in future profiles of female leaders who are on the rise, along with their organizations. Shan-Lyn Ma, founder and CEO of Zola Shan-Lyn Ma has huge ambitions for her wedding registry startup Zola, and her investors clearly trust her instincts. Indeed, Ma — a former executive ...

These 50 founders and VCs suggest 2018 may be a tipping point for women: Part 1

For the last several years, we’ve compiled profiles of women founders and investors at the end of each year because they’ve either raised substantial amounts of money or otherwise achieved notable milestones. This year, we don’t want to wait until December. We’re too excited about the progress we’re witnessing, with women-led startups getting seed, Series A or later-stage funding each week — all while top venture firms grow more serious about pulling women into their most senior ranks, female VCs band together to fund female founders and other women go about launching their own funds. Some of you will note that this list is far from comprehensive, and we’ll readily agree with you. But we think it’s better to celebrate the accomplishments of some of the women who deserve attention than try ...

Google releases first diversity report since the infamous anti-diversity memo

Google has released its first diversity report since the infamous James Damore memo and the fallout that resulted from it. Those are both long stories but the TL;DR is that Damore said some sexist things in a memo that went viral. He got fired and then sued Google for firing him. That lawsuit, however, was shot down by the National Labor Relations Board in February. Then, it turned out another employee, Tim Chevalier, alleges he was fired for advocating for diversity, as reported by Gizmodo later that month. Now, Chevalier is suing Google. “I was retaliated against for pointing out white privilege and sexism as they exist in the workplace at Google and I think that’s wrong,” Chevalier told TechCrunch few months ago about why he decided to sue. “I wanted to be public about it so that the pu...

Gaming leans into diversity at E3, but not hard

To say the gaming community is not known for its friendliness to women and minority groups is something of an understatement. But we’re starting to see developers abandon the usual excuses of tradition, demographics and, the most absurd of all, “realism,” in favor of making gaming more inclusive. Kind of. This has been an ongoing theme for years, of course. But it feels like this year it was a little less self-congratulatory and a little more self-motivated. The fun started early, well ahead of E3, with the apparently devastatingly diverse front lines in Battlefield V, which takes place during World War II. The predictable objections as to “historical accuracy” appeared — unironic, despite the utter lack of historical accuracy in pretty much any of these games. The way the war was fought, ...

Why Bozoma Saint John is leaving Uber for Endeavor

Earlier today, news broke that Bozoma Saint John is leaving her position as chief brand officer at Uber to head over to Endeavor. At Endeavor, an entertainment industry behemoth, Saint John will serve as chief marketing officer, working across all of Endeavor’s portfolio companies, which includes William Morris Endeavor and IMG. I had the chance to catch up with Saint John for a little bit over the phone to learn more about why she left. For starters, “nothing horrible or terrible happened,” she told me in response to a question about if something bad caused her to leave. “I am very thankful for that because we’ve had enough of those stories. We don’t want any more of that.” Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Saint John told me she wasn’t looking to leave Uber. Instead, Endeavor re...

Accenture wants to beat unfair AI with a professional toolkit

Next week professional services firm Accenture will be launching a new tool to help its customers identify and fix unfair bias in AI algorithms. The idea is to catch discrimination before it gets baked into models and can cause human damage at scale. The “AI fairness tool”, as it’s being described, is one piece of a wider package the consultancy firm has recently started offering its customers around transparency and ethics for machine learning deployments — while still pushing businesses to adopt and deploy AI. (So the intent, at least, can be summed up as: ‘Move fast and don’t break things’. Or, in very condensed corporate-speak: “Agile ethics”.)  “Most of last year was spent… understanding this realm of ethics and AI and really educating ourselves, and I feel that 2018 has really become...

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